“How long have you been a sectary astronomical?” Edgar asks of Edmund, who feigns distress over a pamphlet of astrology in King Lear. As a bastard in the same legal sense as Edmund, I am also drawn to contemplate the questions of meaning (and their import for our sanity) that impress themselves on Edgar:
“The weight of this sad time we must obey,/Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.”
I am not an astrologer by trade, nor do I have any Edmundian agenda to kill my father and usurp his estate, but I do sometimes reflect on infinity, and that is a presumption of its own. Thankfully, I have reason to think that there is a God who “stands up for bastards,” as poor Edmund did not. No, I am more like Edgar writhing in the mud, who inspires Lear to ask,
“Is man no more than this?… Thou art the thing itself; unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art.”
I merely play in the mud of my theological musings, that maybe the King will be amused.