There can be no contradiction between paired images, only connection, and so little that is true will conform to the expectations of available language. There is a certain sadness that smells of oranges––or nectarines? and it holds a horizon inside itself, complete with sunrises and sunsets that only one at a time may witness. The challenge is how awe wants company to verify its origin, as something other than madness. Lacking any, a witness is burdened with a weight that denies its own release.
The fact that it is so difficult to express is what complicates, and in these complications, sometimes art. In its invisible geography, the felt experience of any other tends to flicker, then disappear.
Like fireflies, or a faulty bulb? Like meteor showers?
No, not like any of these.
It breaks your metaphor, doesn’t it?
A choice, then: the astounding freedom of unsight, or the weight of witness.
This body, take it. It has never known certainty, the first sound a cry, shattering words.
In her profound The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World, Elaine Scarry writes, “When one hears about another person’s physical pain, the events happening within the interior of that person’s body may seem to have the same remote character of some deep subterranean fact, belonging to an invisible geography that, however portentous, has no reality because it has not yet manifested itself on the visible surface of the earth. Or, alternatively, it may seem as distant as the interstellar events referred to by scientists who speak to us mysteriously of not yet detectable intergalactic screams. . .”