Notre Dame burned today.
I wasn’t as upset as I should have been.
Because history rises and falls
We make things, they fall apart
People will continue to create
Which in time will crumble too
Nothing can stand against
The inexorable pressure of time.
Eons weigh heavy
Days weigh light
We continue to try to measure ourselves
Using our brief little memories
Using our collective tools
Our hearts hands minds
Our clocks, calendars, history books
Our archeology, geology, cosmology
We measure and measure and measure
With little yardsticks laid out
Against the workings of the whole universe
Much too big for us
We work together
We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors
We actually think
We’re going somewhere
With our tiny rulers
Our steps on the moon
Everything starts and ends
With the floor
On the floor
We are born on it
Crawl on it
Walk on it
We die and fall on it
It isn’t really a foundation
It’s just a flat plane
To which we are limited.
Time, the universe, life, death, space
All happen on a plane.
We can only understand this one level of reality
We observe and shape our reality
We should not experiment, only observe
Experiments change the observation
Now we say
Observation changes the experiment
Eventually it all comes around again
Old theories are proven right
Outmoded fashions come back into action
Old thoughts are rethought
Things that are lost get discovered again
Children crawl on the floor
It’s all pretty well impossible to measure
How silly to try.
The ancients who spent their days
Trying to count the stars
Trying to corner knowledge
They really did that
And when do you think
Even if you finish counting what is visible with the naked eye
Then you must move to another pole
And count again.
You may have a telescope
Or you might make a better, stronger one
But one can never
Be done counting the stars
Because the universe may not be infinite
But by the time you reach the edge of it
You are back at the beginning
The number has changed
And you must start
All over again.
So it is in life.
What we measure is immeasurable.
And even if we try
Anything we put in our heads
Will be made head-shaped
And no longer be the thing
That we wished to understand.