Thoreau

It's All Relative

by Amy Belding Brown

They say that space and time are strung
like notes upon a singer's tongue,
that distance and duration are
not what they seem, nor very far
from dreams and visions. And they claim
the universe is not the same
as it appears. In fact, the world
is less substantial than absurd.
These thoughts are larger than my brain
can contemplate, but just the same,
it gives me pause to think of how
these cosmic facts sustain me now.
I'm just a speck upon the skin
of one small planet harlequin,
and yet my life is woven through
with deepest joy and friendships true.
And beauty's everywhere I glance --
in sunset clouds and firefly's dance,
in tumbling creeks and ocean's mist,
the sweet orb of a baby's fist,
in scarlet leaves and snowstorm's rage,
and skin that's creased with sun and age,
in eyes that smile across a room,
in thunder's deep, symphonic boom.
For meaning's not constrained by space
or distances from place to place.
Which brings me back where I began
to relativity's bizarre plan,
which seems to have much less to do
with thoughts like one and one are two,
than that we're linked in mesh so fine
it crosses space and crushes time.
That, no matter what each day may bring,
there's reason still to smile and sing.
For life itself makes its own sense,
and all but love is sheer pretence.

December 27, 2001

Copyright © Amy Belding Brown