Oct 13, 2016, 10:52AM

Into an Energy

52 Weeks of Elizabeth Veldon, Week 41: “my hand is on the wall of the caves in chauvet” (3/25/15).

Veldon.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

A favorite The Far Side comic strip features three people, falling down a bottomless well, who have acclimated themselves to their circumstance. That initial terror, melting away, has been replaced by a sort of bored acceptance. Why panic? Why gesticulate? Why howl? Any or all of these would be futile, because they’ll never stop falling.

With “my hand is on the wall of the caves in chauvet,” a less fraught scenario suggests itself: a lone adventurer descending, with great deliberation, into the catacombs of a city or complex. Imagine the utility belt, the stocked rucksack, the oversized canteen, the protective goggles. Imagine blasted rock and corridors winding away from the shaft. Imagine ladder rungs that appear to stretch down, into infinity.

Imagine a hazy darkness giving way to pulsating, dazzling waves of light. Imagine this glow gradually consuming all cognition without ever growing in intensity, neither sickly nor heavenly. This is what “my hand is on the wall...” offers: illumination as infinity, blindness as transcendence. No monster awaits, no limits exist; just a marvelous, eternal hum.


Register or Login to leave a comment