An Observation at the Conjunction of Black Holes and Crickets
Let’s be frank. One day, you may be the person called upon to illuminate, to define, to make the tough interpretations, to take responsibility for the big calls, to answer the difficult questions. Questions that necessitate a genuine affinity for tasty bluff and a predilection for confidently using nearly believable words waiting to be selected and strung sensibly together, even though we all suspect that there will be the inevitable argument with the issues of order and clarity.
Bleu. Blue. Blew. Some cheeses, domestic and foreign, an irregular verb followed by the very predictable vision of having been swallowed with enthusiasm. Perhaps the second half of a French profanity, everyday melancholy treated with Zoloft and yes, having completely dropped the ball. Name them what you will. Someone is going to have to call it. Someone is going to have to take responsibility for nailing it all down.
Now, this observation is being hung, dangled right in front of your face, like a dare, suspended in mid air like a carrot handing from a piece of rope tied to a stick, or like plump, ripe mulberries gripping the stems against the backdrop of the sky, even though the heavens have long forgotten this pitiless clinging and have methodically moved on to choose more exotic objects, new textures of interest, new things moving and brimming, right at this very moment, from the mysterious boundary of the very first light all the way back to the top of the troposphere.
But we’re off point. There is something hard at work here, trying to bring it all to a halt, to fasten it all down, an attempt to crucify the whole shebang with new and used bent nails, a cosmic blood-letting, a relentless hammering of still into objects that continue pulling away, resisting every effort to force them into a single, unquestionable clarity,
between progress and interpretation, coupled, say, with the complex nature of motion, such as birds flocking south, balls and feathers dropping at the same speed and anxious clouds refusing to maintain a sustainable pattern, there are few available explanations, except perhaps, creative innovation on a lofty scale, a new enlightenment, a definite framework of thought, such as, let’s say, the belief that there are microscopic ball bearings coating the underbelly of the dark sky, a side-swiping cosmological action, pulling the light back and forth, up and down, on huge black photographic plates. That’s a very good explanation.
But let’s get grounded. How about the crickets, who can barely urge themselves upward into this bluest of slipping sky, but through millions of years of methodical trial and error, have found a way to bound into the atmosphere, just feet above the grass, another moving part, creating the illusion of short hops.
Keep it in perspective. In the end, they have finally entered the sky, and crickets jumping a foot above the green meadows, loping, grinning, miniature dots, lively on the low horizon, are no less novel than black holes dotting the backdrop of the universe, sucking in galaxies, or simply, trying to pin down even the simplest of meaning: Blue, Bleu, Blew. These are ruthless times for perception.
(previously published in Thin Air Magazine, November 2012)