The custom of clapping might have begun to frighten away the devil like firecrackers at a Chinese wedding. It dissevers the feeling. Where the feeling is painful, where the feeling is difficult the clapping is understandable. Like other wonderful things in life, its purpose is manifold. Folding our hands our thoughts can rise or fall or travel to other places. Noisily, we clap. I wouldn’t say “Joyfully, we applaud; we applaud our approval,” because I, for one, would like to speak honestly. I would like to speak honestly. I would not wish to clap, wishing the silence would mature the feeling that can now only feebly persist.

6 February 1993