Mark 2:1

Some days later, when Jesus came back to Capernaum, the news spread that he was in a house there;

there is so much to-do
it isn’t worth sticking around
to take more abuse
taken advantage of
conform to a social role
see the enormity of need

but everywhere we go
there we are
a beacon in every wilderness
proclaiming it need not be so
in the center or edgewise
a still point between come and go

until where we are
is where we are
where we are is everywhere
in the course of Brownian Movement
we move through every point
some more than once

while others see us home
we are still journeying
through this wilderness
so déjà vu familiar
so alien in smell and sound
our very own home wilderness

The word “immediately” or “BANG” keeps us looking forward. The story is pushed ahead.

Now we are introduced to its companion that will come around with increasing frequently as Mark proceeds, πάλιν (palin, “again”, “back”).
Listen a bit to Robert M. Fowler in his chapter, “Figuring Mark’s Reader” in Mark and Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies.

Somewhat like euthys, but pointing in the opposite direction, the Greek word palin stops us dead in our tracks and demands that we look backward momentarily. In Mark palin is usually best translated as “again.” Unlike euthys, which points forward but vaguely so, palin usually points us backward to a fairly certain moment earlier in the reading of the narrative. If we stop to think, usually we can recall the previous moment to which the palin is pointing us.

One effect of this forward push and backward pull is that we readers can see what those in the story do not. This reminds us that Mark is not recording history but is trying to have us engage the wilderness we are in with an announcement of good news, of new living, of new partnerships, through choices we are being prepared to recognize and act upon.

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