Monday, August 26, 2019


The larger the scale, the more predictable the world is. The planets and stars move on determined courses, the earth revolves, day becomes night, the seasons change, all obeying established patterns. The closer you focus, the murkier it becomes. Will it rain tomorrow? Will it be a harsh winter? Will the breeze blow down the last leaf this morning, or the next?

And then there are phenomena — things appearing to view. We can predict comets — some of them, at least — but not every flash of a meteor shower. We can't be sure of the consequences of all of our own actions, though with some the baneful results are easy enough to foresee. And why does a bird appear one evening, and not the next? They obey their own unknowable laws, and cross through our vision only by accident.

And yet that's too facile. We ourselves are on unpredictable courses, and our fellow beings are inextricably mixed up in ours, for better or worse. The bird at top is no wild thing but someone's racing pigeon, and bears a band of human possession. I saw it two days in a row at the same location on the summit of a nearby dam. It showed no fear of me, and perhaps was lost, or maybe it was just resting before heading home. On the third day it was gone.

As for the last creature, I found it on its back, not far from the dove, and set it aright, for someone else to ponder.

1 comment:

dunnham said...

I too find myself struggling to apply logic, analogy, and classification to the chaos of existence--the repetitions, the patterns, all shout that there must be some underlying order--and things like Fibonacci, Phi, and Pi, all seem to confirm it--while the vagaries of chance insistently contradict. If I were writing Sci-Fi, I'd posit that the truth is a combination of chaos and order--and that, like mass & energy, they are the same thing in different states. Sadly, outside of Sci-Fi, such musings fall under the heading of self-evident BS.