There are not many things as humbling as seeing the full moon through a telescope and being able to see, the moon: not as the moon you see nightly in the sky above, but as a giant entity, practically breathing, with its craters and textures and shadows, practically gigantic, as you squint and nod, and affirm, Yes, I see it.
There are not many things as humbling as seeing Mars, 55,000 km away, not as that tiny orange-red dot in the sky that you point out nightly, thinking, Wow, yes, there’s Mars, but through a powerful telescope that allows you to see it magnified, even with its distance, and, to see it moving. Yes, moving, fast enough that the focus needs to be readjusted every couple minutes to keep up with its trajectory.
And, there are not many things as humbling as seeing Saturn through a telescope, to be able to see a tiny white dot, tiny yes, but recognizable with its rings and glimmer.
Indeed. Look again.
The entire wounded cosmos through a viewfinder.
Something that hasn’t been said but seen. Another version of prayer well-hidden in the darkness.
When you consider the possibilities of writing and language, well, you might as well consider the possibilities of the universe.
In poetry, wonder is coupled with the joy of speech… The poetic image is in no way comparable, as with the mode of the common metaphor, to a valve which would open up to release pent-up instincts. The poetic image sheds light on consciousness in such a way that it is pointless to look for subconscious antecedents of the image… Poetry is one of the destinies of speech. In trying to sharpen the awareness of language at the level of poems, we get the impression that we are touching the man whose speech is new in that it is not limited to expressing ideas or sensations, but tries to have a future. One would say that poetic image, in its newness, opens a future to language.
— Gaston Bachelard
The sense of endless wonder becomes the most crucial element, the nocturnal dream manifesting itself in the articulations of language that become poetry, and the poet’s soul left behind as a phantom in the glimpses of the sun.
These things have been here, before us, before language.
Often, we’re just deceiving ourselves.
The various contours of things become the contours of seeing itself.
What you can see and how you can see it: harmonious configurations of perception, repetition, reverie.
When every night I look at the moon, it is, too, a nod, an affirmation. I recognize you. I know you are there. And I know you will be there after I am gone.
Perhaps the necessary task is to continue to dream, these dreams that bridge the tenuous and tremendous distances between us and them, that allow us to approach the infinity of existence, to listen to the discourse of the stars, to listen to the desires of the sky.
Cosmic reveries separate us from project reveries. They situate us in a world and not in a society. The cosmic reverie possesses a sort of stability or tranquility. It helps us escape time. It is a state. Let us get to the bottom of its essence: it is a state of mind… Poetry supplies us with documents for a phenomenology of the soul. The entire soul is presented in the poetic universe of the poet.
Even in my indifference, the depths of the cosmos find ways to reach me. Reliving the past becomes nostalgia or déjà vu, but also a portal into an out there. I lift up my fingers and—
I approach you and move closer.
Reflections open and close, and for a moment, I see myself in your eyes.
You used to be just as you are now. You used to be different.
I persist in standing here, dragging all my memories behind me in a knapsack. My eyeballs are exhausted. Gazes fixed.
Even the shadows seem different and I open my mouth to take a breath but have forgotten how to breathe.
I am utterly calm. The night is utterly calm.
Looking through various viewfinders, to close that distance, to turn back and see into the night sky. This is the dream.
When your cigarette smoke weaves tangles around my face and I cough, I turn away to look out the window and find it impossible to separate the night from the sky, to separate this cold from that cold, all of this, all of that, everywhere.
When we’re up there walking past the trees and it seems the moon has hung itself on one of the branches, I remember the reverie of a child, lying flat on my back outside, looking up, contemplating the infinity of the universe and my own minimal role in it all.
The trembling reveals the awe has changed but lingers. I can’t expose all of my doubts at once, but I’m addicted to something, and even the blue becomes a different gaze. Blue gaze, blue texture, blue speech.
Something is missing.
But I do not have to know what.