realization that the universe is much, much more than they previously
||THIS IS TRUE: Ive seen her bend spoons held
by others. It works like thissomeone sits across from her,
they hold a spoon in their left hand, usually a fist clinched tightly,
a portion of the head and the neck of the spoon visible above their
grip. She takes their right hand and holds it gently, sometimes
stroking it softly, and then she gazes deeply into their eyes. Her
eyes are light brown, the pupils dark, the irises full of stars,
and the more deeply you return her gaze, the more deeply you wander
into her fields of stars, the less you are in the chair across from
her, the more the spoon in your left hand becomes a memory distant
and dim, and only her touch cradling your right hand tethers you
to this space.
When you return, though your friends will not know you have
been away, you will see that the spoon in your left hand is bent at the
neck ninety degrees, always pointing due west. (She is more powerful and
more reliable than the magnetic north pole. You can check this with a
compassI already have.) Your friends will ask if you heard their
ooohs and ahhs during this magic? It is best to
simply say yes, pretend you were just playing along, that it is all a
trick, and that you cannot share it because you have pledged to protect
the conjurers secrets.
The lines will be shorter this way.
Amazingly, she can do this with both plastics and metals. I asked her
once if she ever simply held a spoon in her own fist, watching it melt
then curve to the west, and she answered, Why would I do that? What
would I learn?
These are skeptical and rational timesbut our rationality has bounds.
Newtonian space and time are adequate explanatory principles that work
for ninety-nine percent of the world we will know in our brief lifetimes.
Ask a bigger question and you will discover that the math is too hard,
your brain will ache, and you will not understand. But there will be those
around you who will whisper excitedly among themselves in a language that
will be difficult for you to follow, and they will be smiling at each
other in a shared realization that the universe is much, much more than
they previously imagined. Newtonian principles will still govern ninety-nine
percent of their waking livesbut they will have at least a hint
of what governs the remaining one percent.
I cannot tell you how she bends spoons held tightly by others. I cannot
adequately describe how soft and warm her hands are. I cannot tell you
where I go when I am adrift in the star fields in her eyes. The spoon
will bend and it will point due west. If she tells me that planets orbit
in elongated rectangles rather than ellipses in her universe, I will tend
to believe her. In these skeptical and rational times, I smile at the
others standing round the table who have held her hands. By their relaxed
smiles, I can sense that we are all amazed and fascinated by her powers;
but also by how easy it was to forget our facades in the presence of her
charm. For all of us, Im sure, there is something more we want to
apprehend of her. Still, I think we are learning as much about ourselves
as we are of her: what if she is really teaching us how to bend the spoons
and find due west?
© D.M. Hendricks
Philadelphia, PA 19103
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