Dad’s D-40

Write an entry inspired by what you can’t see

I have the sense sometimes or perhaps most of the time that what I can’t see is virtually everything.

It was stupefying, rather than spectacular, when I was younger and the biology teacher Teacher showed us a drop of water under a microscope, revealing that inside the drop of water was an entire universe of things that were swimming and moving and creating and populating probably other drops of water like interplanetary explorers.

It was just as bad in chemistry class where I learned that what I thought was a pencil or a table top turned out to be alive with atoms, electrons, nuetrons, protons and as many other swimming-around parts as a drop of water.  Nothing, it turned out, was content with just being the way it looked–everything was worlds within  worlds within  worlds and everywhere I look is An unimaginably large Cosmos of living things, that I can’t see.  Even a leaf, rather than simply being  a small parchment-like thing is an intricate Network of vein-like lines that provide nutrients to parts of a leaf that in and of itself is unimaginably complex and detailed.

Looking at my hand can be similarly overwhelming in that beneath that skin are bones and muscles and arteries and things so beyond what appears to be at the surface that I never want to look at my hand again.  

Even people I look at are so extraordinarily more complex than they appear, and they are boiling away beneath the conscious surface with an unconscious, a subconscious and an id–they are harboring a personal and cultural make-up that even they can’t see.  

Finally, looking at this computer screen involves seeing what I can’t see. It appears to be a white screen with black letters, but it isn’t that at all; instead, I am looking at tiny dots that themselves are comprised of what even the dots can’t see–ones and zeros that are depressingly complex in their complexity.  It is all so overwhelming and negates even the biblical intonation that “we see through a glass darkly”: we don’t see at all.

 

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