An Assembly

An opening behind closed doors.

Some of the patients were irritated. Some were tired of being told––what was a mind problem, a body problem––when experience suggested nothing less than a revolution of mindbodyflesh. Some began to reject various boundaries, and when invited in, walked out; when expelled, remained. 

And what is the subject here? one asked. 

Obviously, the object, said another. 

A third objected.

It is somewhat of an exercise, one of these continued, this habit of trying to observe myself with my own eyes while my own eyes are unwell, and yet. If disease is a theory to explain illness, and illness is unchecked growth, the attempt certainly raised interesting questions, didn’t it? About the assumed hierarchy of growth over––say, loss.

Of course it did! Many agreed, and it was confirmed by official decree that the bulk of the assembled were unwell. This was old news. The patients gave a collective shrug.

Looking out the window one night, one had some additional questions. To no one in particular, they inquired: Can you read this hand? How about those skies, or that owl over there, for anything but weather? Without making any one of us a specimen? 

It was not immediately clear if anyone heard. The night continued. Later, the owl made a sound. It was like cooing and not unlike song.

Common Sense

Which is more common, sense or the mysteries around it?

Not everyone is sold on the idea that plants have any, which makes it difficult to explain how trees harmonize, not to mention what mushrooms are doing without it. It’s generally accepted as a feature of humans, hence so many references to basic sensibilities, to sensible and senseless behaviors, and comparisons on varying levels of sensitivities. There’s plenty to be studied on an anatomical level––communications between organs, organisms, within and across regions, species, and time––most of which serves to reinforce a foundational understanding, however paradoxical, about the layers of mystery we’re dealing with. 

These are challenging regions to chart: the matter of spirit, realities of imagination, bodies of mind, to say nothing of the minds of bodies. Which of these oversees sense, and which is to blame when it goes missing? And when we refer to that which is presumed common, is it one of these, or that which evades such reduction? There is reason to believe that these questions will linger as we continue to explore unmapped spatial, spiritual, and imaginative terrains. No sooner do we begin to chart a territory when another opens. 

I suppose if there were fewer unknowns it might be easier to treat senselessness, to say as with a child’s skinned knee, show me where it is, to clean and bandage the wound, and say gently, there we go. All better! Which raises two questions: can a creature adapted to mystery survive when plucked from its depths? And, when this perception becomes the coin of the realm, what is lost?