The Sky’s Navel

A lazy child draws spirals in their notebook.
Their teacher scowls.

A natural outcome when dense materials stretch a focus beyond its limit.
And our limits are quite narrow, in the wider scheme of things.

After all, we project our attention as best we know how, but it can only span the surface of our minds.
And all surfaces can be distorted and warped, folded and stretched, refracted and tied in knots.

Yet despite their own density, it’s still the instructor who chides the student for their idling thoughts.
And with good reason, I suppose…

The insolence.
The indolence.
The lack of gravity.

All worthy of censure, of course.

After dutifully laying out the hidden rules and arcane codes of the Academy before the child,
Like an emissary bearing gifts to the royal court,
How could any teacher tolerate such distracted navel gazing?

And yet…
The teacher’s rebuke confuses distraction and attraction.
It confuses foreground for background.

It is a question asked…
Only by those who refuse to see the swirling navels above our heads.
Only by those who refuse to see the shared boundaries between skin and sky.
Only by those who refuse to see the event horizons in our eyes.

In many ways, the royal courts of the Academy are narrower than a child’s attention span,
In the same sense that a narrowing scope brings light closer to our minds,
While also blinding us to the path each ray takes through the tightly packed labyrinth of mirrors and lenses.

From that convoluted view things are all-too-easily turned inside out.
Limits and origins are often conflated.
Roots and branches look awfully similar from a distance.
That is, when they are even apparent at all.

A river’s stretching delta is not so different from a cloud’s gentle rainfall,

A rush from a ruptured dam is not so different from a cloudbursts deluge,

A gasket from an inlet to its source,
An outlet to an inner facing flow,
A light to an inner mounting flame,
A joining and meeting of friends, long separated.

No matter, the teacher’s real mistake was their disdain.

After all, no true emissary should behave that way before the court.

— yoav golan

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