Just Magic and Beauty


 

What are they?

I would say they are beautiful.  They are magical.  But as for what causes them…

…I do not know.

Recently, as I sat with a group of men, shooting the bull, the conversation drifted to the lights that appeared over the Phoenix metro area in 2007.

One man had actually seen them while camping just outside the city limits.  To him, they were—or rather, are—real.  But he did not venture any opinions about the nature of their reality.

Perhaps he restrained himself because another man, who has flown thousands of pilot miles, didn’t take the subject seriously at all.  He knew there was some “reasonable” explanation.

When a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat, we know there’s more to the picture than we can see.  Just as the rabbit trick is magic, these unidentified lights in our skies are magic.  There’s more to the picture than we can see.

Speculations as to what causes such phenomenon lack proof and often sound downright silly.  Scientific rationalizations can seem as fanciful as baseless pie-in-the-sky explanations.

We project our beliefs upon those lights because we want certainty.

I want certainty.  Though I see beauty in those lights, I also feel the pain of uncertainty.  I want to know.  But I have no way of deciphering this mystery.  I may never know the secret.  I may just have to be satisfied with magic and beauty.

Eventually, we’ll gain a better understanding of those lights.  But when we do, some other phenomenon will undoubtedly confront us—some other phenomenon will confuse us, dazzle us, cause us to wonder.

I don’t know what our new mythology will be, but I think it needs to teach us how to deal with such mysteries.  To teach us to resist the temptation to rationalize the unexplained.  But to also teach us to resist the temptation to deify that which remains unknown.

The mysterious can help return us to a sense of wonder.  As with any religion/mythology, our new mythology must help us address the beautiful strangeness of our life in this cosmos.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton
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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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