2011-04-14 / Musings

Click your heels 3 times and pass retrograde

“I’ll be watching you: Every breath you take; Every move you make;... Every claim you stake....” — Sting and The Police

“I’m looking over a four leaf clover that I overlooked before. One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain. Third is the roses that grow in the lane. No need explaining the one remaining....” — Mort Dixon

“... and with ah! bright wings.” — Gerard Manley Hopkins

“What a world.... What a world....” — Wicked Witch of West Oz

Negation is often this first glimmering of an emerging reality. “I never thought of that.” Then formerly and formally some non-existent is a foregone conclusion, becoming foremost in mind. Some inexpressible, indistinguishable mindless schwa ease grows wings, radiates, and takes form in the forum.

Quorum established, will this nascent paradigmatic anomaly be appropriately swallowed, again engulfed in a sweaty surround of sensibility? Or, perhaps more tragically, will there be attempts to rediscover the unrecoverable mystery?

Forget the glass half full and half empty: Merely shatter the glass. And forget the romance of empty vessels and roads not taken and hallowed hollows.

After all, our astrologers tell us we are in Mercury retrograde. From March 30 until April 23, it will seem as if Mercury has stopped and reversed direction. We are cautioned not to begin new projects or venture into new territory. We are advised to stay put, to be still. Only write.

But it’s not just Mercury. All the planets seem to switch direction. Until Copernicus negated the notion of the earth as center of the universe people believed that what seemed to be happening, the visually given, was real. Now we are certain that the reality is that planets perpetually orbit in the same direction. Even if it doesn’t look that way.

And what about this pirate’s orbit? After all, Rx, R with a tail stroke, is the astrological symbol for retrograde planetary movement. It is also an abbreviation for medical prescription, recipe, and the responses in missals. All this comes from the Latin imperative meaning “to take.” We are taking it in.

Retro might have a negative connotation, a sense of degenerating into the past, of being old-fashioned and backward. Taking might also be criticized. But is it really so simple?

In logic, there is a notion called vacuous truth. This is an assertion that something is true of all members of an empty set. It is a truth that is devoid of content.

Yet, even here there can be a problem. Suppose we say that all pink elephants are carnivores. That is vacuously true, since there are no pink elephants. Whatever we say about them is true like this. But what if we say that all pink elephants are herbivores? That is also vacuously true. Does one vacuous truth make another a lie?

Never mind all this and that. Listen: At the end of a path there is a most amazing and wonderful garden. In that garden is a Greek column. It is Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. And in having all these features, it is also of another order not yet named. Behind this column, you are standing.

Your wings are white and your eyes are flashing. You are beautiful beyond words or measure. And because of your position behind, you cannot see me. But I have plain view of your being hidden.

As I look, transcendently transfixed, the planet stops. Orbit shifts. A new view emerges. Are you looking at me?

What a world; what a world.

I got to see a man about a dog. Not. ¦

— Rx is the FloridaWeekly muse who hopes to inspire profound mutiny in all those who care to read. Our Rx may be wearing a pirate cloak of invisibility, but emanating from within this shadow is hope that readers will feel free to respond. Who knows: You may even inspire the muse. Make contact if you dare.

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