A name for the unknowable

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Who told you you were tiny? No, Daughter, look how large you have grown – I can scarcely close my palm around your fist.

To me, you are infinity, the only universe for which I was born. You say there are scientists that have made measurements, invented names to speak for the things they have found? My love, if you say so, let us take them at their word (they have measured, after all). Let us imagine our world huddled entirely in the shadow of a mountain, that is actually a “thorn”, which is but one of many on a gigantic flower growing inside a garden made of bees. Does the green of the ground then change its color? Is it any less firm, and liquid dense, or plumped with chlorophyll? I could run for years and never reach the red concavity at the edge of things (Gossamen could maybe do it, though. Great flea of a man! It is fearful to see his speed, the solid heft of his thighs. My heart races for him when he whizzes by, as if it could beat my blood into his veins)

You know, when I tried to fit my mind around the diameters of worlds within worlds within worlds I could not do it. Your grandparents could tell you. My stomach dropped all the way out of me, winched down by an unnameable, insatiable, carnivorous fear. It took weeks for them to soothe me, to quiet my mind with thoughts of other things. Gauze on the gush. But it works, in a way. I thank the stars your brain has always been nimbler than mine, perhaps you will succeed where I have failed, and mold it tearlessly around such magnitudes. Maybe you will not be frightened.

But if, after all, you find that you have lost your stomach, I will tell you how I rescued mine, pulling fist over fist, hauling it back into my body. It is a single simple truth, dense enough to fit inside a whisper: even if I were microscopic, and you were microscopic, if we were both bubbles inside the burp of a dyspeptic hummingbird; even if that is not a mountain, or only one of innumerable mountains tessellating endlessly through numberless dimensions, Daughter, you would still be here beside me. Your name would still be Anya. Your fist would still fit inside my palm.

Created: Mar 27, 2014


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