a fixed eye; a distant heart.

It’s easy to get caught up, focused in on the menial. Here, both frustration and concentration co-inside. Here we can see so clearly what is happening, that that can also see what is not happening as a scientist, eyes fixed on the outer lens of a microscope. It’s a long and arduous process of watching the grass grow. From back there though, back at the level of no magnification, the menial is swept up in the minutiae of minutes, hours and days. It is here that we see patterns, seasons, growth. We see the moon change shape as before we looked for changes in the craters on its face. We see less significant problems, more significant patterns. In the everyday, we tend to hold on, in the every season, we watch it slip through our hands as leaves turn to red, yellow, brown all in the shape of just a few months and a maple leaf.

And so its holding onto moments, yet like ancient photographs, knowing they will surely fade. And its watching instead for un-happenings, for happenings, and possibility. How is it possible for a lilly to open by day and close at night if our eyes are fixed upon the way that reeds lean, or grow inch by inch from the ground? And why do we choose to contrive some perfected-narrative structured-story when surprise was also so much more romantic? Why should I stubbornly carve away at a stone moulded heart, while mine is ready to melt like wax? And why underestimate the one who brings poetry to science and takes a woman from the catacombs of death, to the Sacre-Coeur, the church on the highest point of Paris, just to reveal how far his arms can stretch? They stretch from death to life, from deep to high, right across the walls of that white Basilica. And why should I disparage the depth of emotion in science when the very structure of DNA proclaims perfect harmony, proclaims the very core of our beings that curve just like that ladder and interlock to sustain our lives?

Perhaps in seeking we will find, yet not as we expected. In testing and graphing, observing and recording we might find the very hypothesis we aim to prove is incorrect. And if our ears are closed, as all other senses to the world then we wouldn’t know that a still small voice could fly us across the seas just to find him in a confined laboratory, or attic or atelier. In looking I found, not what I searched. In grasping, I felt the invisible slide through my fingers. In loving, I found my heart turn another way. And in trusting, I found myself all the more inquisitive.

When I applied my heart to know the wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one’s eyes see sleep, then I saw all the work of God that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find out. – Ecclesiastes 8.16-17


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