Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Bridging the Abyss, Breaking the Gravity

One of my favorite passages from The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin is as follows (p. 322 in the Harper / Voyager edition, thanks to this site for making it easy to find online):

Takver woke at dawn. She leaned on her elbow and looked across Shevek at the gray square of the window, and then at him. He lay on his back, breathing so quietly that his chest scarcely moved, his face thrown back a little, remote and stern in the thin light. We came, Takver thought, from a great distance to each other. We have always done so. Over great distances, over years, over abysses of chance. It is because he comes from so far away that nothing can separate us. Nothing, no distances, no years, can be greater than the distance that's already between us, the difference of our sex, the difference of our being, our minds; that gap, that abyss which we bridge with a look, with a touch, with a word, the easiest thing in the world. Look how far away he is, asleep. Look how far away he is, he always is. But he comes back, he comes back, he comes back...

This passage can be used to talk about phenomena which are both impossible and easy.

As a counterpoint, consider a powerful gravity, an inevitability, which can be broken by simply turning the head to look the other way.

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