Friday, December 26, 2008

Philosophy Lying on the Ice: or a Post of No Consequence

Dusk deepens into night. Birds twitter softly in the quietly swaying trees which crack and shiver as the chill air grows icy. Along the wild horizon pale purple becomes blue blending to deep navy. A solitary planet lights the sky. In the deepening dark backdrop a few pin-points of light peep into visibility as though shy of intruding themselves on the inhabitants of the world; perhaps fearful of breaking their slumber, or maybe wary of the sun's rays, willing only to venture abroad when his head is hidden. In a few moments, the constellations will grow distinguishable. Three hazy specks: Orion uncloaks himself. An emerging blur of distant lights: Pleiades enters in full sisterhood. Though hidden by dense pines, the Dippers ladle up the night from within the strong arms of the Bears, Great and Small. At last, the darkness reaches a full contrast so that the arm of the Milky Way is revealed: A massive starry swath draped in folds across the immense expanse of infinity.

As if gaining confidence, each star shines more brightly in the gathered night and illumines the two mortal figures lying motionless upon the snow beneath them.They lie flat upon their backs, arms beneath and cradling their heads, gazing at the lights in the darkness and at the forlorn trees stripped of their leaves now covered and softened by the gloaming, heedless of the plummeting temperature or the melting snow seeping through their coats. Now they remain in silence, now in speech, muted and hushed as suggests the setting. An owl hoots quite near and they startle but snuggle down into the icy bed again, unwilling to break the moment.

Philosophers, they solve the great questions of the world in the light of the stars with solutions all their own. After a silence, one breaks forth, pondering;
"Why do we fear? Why?"
The other turns the matter over for a moment, considering it's angles and complexities. The prompt reply;
"Because the electric fence would hurt really bad."

It is too much to take in. Laughter rudely interrupts the quietude and ceases again. But even a bed of ice becomes burdensome after a while, no matter how pleasantly situated, and the philosophers drew themselves off and left the heavenly lights to blaze undisturbed.

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