A man arose early with the sun.
He slipped from the bed,
leaving his darling wife to rest.
His two daughters were dreaming
peacefully in the rooms beside.
The dog padded beside him,
excited and curious about
his master’s early appearance.
The man’s life was a cocoon of warmth.
The center of his mind was an offering.
But today he paced the kitchen,
looking to the East, into
the brilliant glow of morning,
and he wondered…
Today he would visit the doctor.
Purely routine. All according to schedule.
But Measurements would be taken, and,
as you well know, the act of measurement
has been found to be a creative one.
He worried the instruments-
the needles, pumps, photographic plates,
hums, beeps, charts and squiggly lines-
would reveal something about himself
that he didn’t already know-
force an insight into an underlying malfunction,
or make plain a sorrowful inevitability,
or call in the debts of a life that was only borrowed.
Like this gentle man, we are afraid
we are carrying something inside
of ourselves, an undoing packed inside
of a hard shell with a fuse of
steadily decreasing length, a darkness
whose discovery would fracture
the lives we have made- turn
all our shelters inside out and shake them.
We dare not look, lest we uncover
a truth we could never overcome,
or a reason to make our doubts real.
The man looked towards the sun,
and the sun, moved by the man’s
unseeing eyes, and with so few admirers
to shine upon at such an early hour,
allowed itself to take a few liberties.
“Well, look here,” the sun said,
“there is a secret inside of you,
to be sure. But it is not what you think.
You have not even begun to dream
what you are carrying inside yourself.
You should be aching for
the explosion of your every littleness.
I, myself, am the result
of such a holy secret.”
Then, having cleared
this little matter up once and for all,
the sun went back to
silent broadcast mode for
a few million more years.