There is an old Latin saying that gets thrown around in the theological circles from which I emerged as a young man when I left college: ex nihilo nihil fit. “Out of nothing, nothing comes.” Its use, as far as doctrine goes, is to enforce the idea of a Prime Mover. Nothing comes from nothing, so before there was something, there must have been Something Else to create the something. Or something like that. The years have taken most of the details from the dogma of which I was once fond, and smoothed my edges a little. But the idea remains sound, at least as a metaphor.

I’m listening to Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue album right now, the cover of which was shot by photographer Jay Maisel. That’s neither here nor there, but the following ...

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