The sky spills out around you, a million-mile, sequined black blanket, rumpled and folded and curled warm about the curve of the horizon. This is how we learn geometry: the shape of mother's breast, the shape of mother earth, and as we nuzzle up against it, we taste the world with our infant lips. Pi r squared and my oral fixation.
In a manner of speaking, humanity is a lonely creature. Its many fronds spill out across the surface of the globe, waving in the geopolitical currents of time and tyranny, driven by the extremes of cold and of heat to seek the friendliest places, until it has sucked all the nutrition out from under its own feet. Not exactly a parasite, just... misguided. In colonies, it finds itself and knows the safety of numbers. But beyond its own species, the line of uncertainty looms large in the field of vision.
Is there really no other which thinks?
We have the cold comfort of visual similarity, cold because at the same time it chills us to our bones when we find our faces reflected back to us within the simian features of a creature in the trees. In an attempt to deflect the chill, we teach the language of children to the gentle ones, forming their hands into the emblems of speech, if only so that we shall not be alone, alone. It is, after all, a burden, this thinking.
It would not be so hard to look out at the emptiness of that light-filled firmament if we could only know that the questions with which we have populated it throughout the centuries are questions not echoed back by the cool mineral walls of a cavern but by the voice of one who knows the anguish of the mental limit. Even separated by a distance that cannot fit inside our skulls or behind a spaceship in the lifetime of a man, we might then know the peace of a populated universe.
The earth rotates fast, fast, and revolves fast too. But we feel it as the slowness of the summer dews, the quiet, hidden coalescence that draws the moisture to the leaf of grass; the wind does not whistle 'round our vessel in our hurried trip through space, but would that it did, that we could hear the music of the spheres. Then perhaps we'd have at least a lullaby to woo us gently to our sleep.
- The Down & Dirty: Making Peace with the Age-Old Practice of Eating White Dirt by Chuck Reece
- Bernie Sanders is a candidate for, not of, today's movements by Kate Aronoff
- Inmates Paint and Draw the Rich People They Think Should Be Behind Bars by Brian Josephs
- How being bilingual rewires your brain by Frida Garza
- Income inequality in China and the urban-rural divide by Nan Wu
- UN projects world population to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, driven by growth in developing countries
- A country on the brink: Millions go hungry in South Sudan by Benedict Moran
- Paris talks come at urgent moment for the planet by Heather Coleman
- World sets goal of eliminating hunger, but food aid remains underfunded by Benedict Moran
- Nevada Will Test the Breadth of the Bernie Sanders Revolution by Jeet Heer
- The Pious Attacks on Bernie Sanders's "Fuzzy" Economics by David Dayen
- How We Failed to Protect Kesha by Madeleine Davies
- The Invention of Female Adulthood by Elizabeth Winkler
- How John Roberts Can Save the Supreme Court by Simon Lazarus
- Marco Rubio's Big Test by Brian Beutler
"Famine, Affluence, and Morality" by Peter Singer
"Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping the Poor" by Garrett Hardin
...I also led a philosophy discussion today, and I'm suddenly realizing why I'm so braindead...