Mostly Space

One of the more interesting concepts I learned in Chemistry class- these things we find dense and solid are mostly empty, molecules held together by ionic, metallic, and covalent bonds, Van der Waals forces, invisible magical forces, atomic gravity, the diaphanous fabrics that bind things.

Space governs us and it’s mostly all there is; our substance is in fact emptiness.

The blacks in comic panels or films are as important as the whites. Negative space.  Direct the eye to the content by surrounding it with loss.  That’s life, it’s what it does, it shows us things through our grief, directs the eye without the viewer’s awareness.

I think often about what it means that what we see is not at all what is actually there; not-there. Atoms aren’t something with which we can interact, aren’t something we can use– not without a large budget, trained personnel, and the threat of radiation poisoning.

But this table, well, it holds up the keyboard on which I’m typing – that’s useful.  The helpful little atoms know not what they do, they simply hover, they talk to each other and configure, reconfigure; they’re social animals.  But they’re naive. They don’t know that somewhere, far away, a distance as great to them as the sun is to us, they look like a table when they’re together.

We each play our little part – to someone far off, we humans probably look like something they find useful, though up close, we’re all stumbling around just trying to bond with each other, and sometimes getting it right.

And sometimes, there’s an explosion.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *