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Touching Earth

January 10, 2006

The earth appeared in my yard one day, and I went out to see what it was – a creamy blue-green ball hovering chest-high, unmoving. That’s not possible, I know.

So let’s say I appeared one day in space vastly enlarged so the earth again appeared to me a stock-still ball. Neither is this possible.

Nevertheless, a change was instantaneous upon my appearance nearly an arm’s length from the small orb: the attractive grab of my zillions-fold mass sucked it open in a lemony puff of liquid and gas.

I was pattered with a spray of glowing orange lavas. I received the largest shards of the earth’s metallic core into my flesh and melted somewhat myself in splashing detonations.

I was so big that the time of smaller things moved slowly, and it took minutes for the meteors of earth to arrive.

In bed last night I dusted my pillow with the grit I could not wash out of my hair and ears.

Written by Bill Knight

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  1. January 10, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    Wow! That’s a fun short story, Bill. Your mind must be an interesting place to inhabit. Thanks for sharing a piece (or indeed, a bunch of pieces).

  2. Bill
    January 10, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    Dave! You liked it! If there is credit to be given it is to you, for I was sparked by your travelog. It was in the context of a converstion about the St. Louis Arch that I was not able to find the words to have with you, that I nursed these notions about gravity. So it is in planetary rooms of your speech-space that this delicate orb coalesced, quiveringly.

  3. January 11, 2006 at 6:54 am

    Goosebumps. You have expressed a mystery from a view point so oblique, it is inside forever, now.

  4. January 11, 2006 at 8:16 am

    This is delightfully surreal. “I’ll have what he’s smoking,” etc.

  5. Bill
    January 11, 2006 at 9:14 am

    Zhoen are you calling me orthogonally challenged?
    Thanks for your gracious compliment. Let me see if I can get this. You are hollow and guarded by fields of perpendicular polarity?

    Lorianne, thanks. A person doesn’t get cratered without a little smoke.

  6. January 11, 2006 at 10:01 am

    This is terrific, Bill. I’ve just been reading Stephen Hawking, and my poetic mind prefers your imagery and humor to his “astronauts being stretched like spaghetti” by intense gravitational fields. That was a wild trip in ten lines or so!

  7. January 11, 2006 at 10:16 am

    …Not to mention that it’s the perfect antidote to the newage nostrum of “touching the earth.” When Buddha touched the earth, didn’t it cause a bit of an earthquake?

    (Bill, if I had some role in sparking this, I’m glad, but the credit is all yours, bud.)

  8. Bill
    January 11, 2006 at 11:54 am

    Gravity as spaghetti press. That is difficult Beth, but I am very limited. Perhaps a massive toroid, yes! Sure! In goes the dough and out goes the spaphetti. Hmm… Gravity is awfully sublime. My imagery might be easier due the glancing and shallow trajectory of my foray. Funny though how size matters.

    Dave, picture me muttering, throwing out drafts, trying manage a comment to one of your posts. Saarinen’s arch was my point of origin. True, you did not take note of how it turns the horizon upside-down, but you did freight it with the forensic emblem of minimalistic hubris. You voiced it. I listened then, closely, to its song. This was all against the surreal background of the eye of your camera turning up in the brush of East St. Louis, peering out at the insignia of my youthful place in the world, noticing the stark divides that stand out to visitors. I inhabited your camera, and the mind of your blog to look upon my alien youth, our whole generation’s alien youth. So I think some of the vast spaces were there at the very beginning, tightly packed. It’s little wonder, shortly thereafter, that the ball of the earth should appear in my yard.

  9. February 5, 2006 at 3:28 pm

    Hey Bill! This is really nice. I’d hitch a ride through space with you anytime.

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