The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Wind

“Man,” said Mordel, “possessed a basically incomprehensible nature. I can illustrate it, though: he did not know measurement.”

“Of course he knew measurement,” said Frost, “or he could never have built what it ismachines.”

“I did not say that he could not measure,” said Mordel, “but that he did not know measurement, which is a different thing altogether.”

“Clarify.”

Mordel drove a shaft of metal downward into the snow.

He retracted it, raised it, held up a piece of ice.

“Regard this piece of ice, mighty Frost. You can tell me its composition, dimensions, weight, temperature. A man could not look at it and do that. A man could make tools which would tell him these things, but he still would not know measurement as you know it. What he would know of it, though, is a thing that you cannot know.”

“What is that?”

“That it is cold,” said Mordel, and tossed it away.

—Roger Zelazny, “For A Breath I Tarry”

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