…we walk the bottom of an ocean we call sky.
– Jim Harrison (“River II”)
It is our nature to believe in more
beyond the surface—though we toil
for plenty here upon the ocean’s floor,
a hierarchy of bottom fish, both slim
and fat—wanting to believe in something
more attainable to all, a free place
for the spirit to try its wings in the light,
beyond the murky depths shadowed by
darker silhouettes of sharks and whales.
How deep the sky! Unnamed on maps,
near Coyote Pass, 10,000 feet above it all,
‘CRITES LAKE’ perforated with an ice pick
in the tin, square bottom of a five-gallon can
placed near the outlet jammed with dark
green backs of rainbow trout spawning,
every one a pound or more in those days.
Just before the moon rose and the granite
glowed like a lantern, there seemed no end
to the stars—far, tiny bubbles glinting
near the surface, our passenger jets
and sputniks streaking beneath them.
What a powerful perspective. I have often wondered if we are like ants, scurrying around, watched by much larger beings, who find us worthy of scientific study. Being so different from the observer would cause a great chasm, difficult to cross.
We are told that size matters, but in this case, we will probably never know how disadvantaged we are.