Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I read an article recently that suggested that the crumpled far side of the moon is in truth covered with the remnants of a second moon that ran into it once long ago. It's a curious trajectory in my head, this other moon veering around everything else to slowly run into a place that we can't even see. There's something I find comforting in the thought that even though those bright lights could quietly wink out one night, they may still be kept safe somewhere. They say that something similar may happen to Mars' Phobos, that it will come too close and break apart, that eventually Phobos will be one more layer of dust on the surface of the planet. They say that this has happened countless times before, that nothing can resist the excruciating careen of gravity and space and time.

Expeditions to MOMA made by some of my more trustworthy compatriots seem to confirm that the painting that so frightened me last summer may not actually exist, which is on its own a little alarming. It wouldn't be uncommon for me to make up a spooky thing where none actually exists, but this painting is something unusual. It's possible that the next time I return to New York I'll find something completely the opposite in its place.

In a late night I told a story about Pitch Lake in Trinidad. It's a lake made of asphalt, which always feels counter intuitive, and in the late 1500's Sir Walter Raleigh came across it and used it to mend some holes in his boat. No one has really spent much time figuring out where the lake comes from but they are pretty sure that whole new types of organisms are living in it. That stop in Trinidad was right around when Raleigh was searching for a city of gold, and it seems that along with his crew he must have brought along some of those microbes. An adventurous microbe might have seen Raleigh coming and might even now be colonizing something new, discovering its own city of gold.


mwhybark said...

I'm thinking you already tried this:


samantha said...

Yeah. The trouble is that since I didn't write it down at the time I was just pretty sure that I was surprised by this spooky red Hopper painting, but really there are a handful of people it could have been that would have been surprising.

Also it's possible that since this all happened right after the earthquake, I could have been in a totally different universe for a few minutes.

Kerri Anne said...

A moon battered into being by another moon was the topic of a coffee-shop conversation with dear friends this past weekend, thanks in large part to their charming and storytelling nine-year-old who possesses an impressive memory and a fondness for the Science channel.

I too find it comforting to think something beautiful and lasting can come from something so initially jarring.

samantha said...

That is the type of child I intend to have eventually. I wonder how far in advance you have to place an order for those.