Science explores the construction of the world. Literature is about the meaning of the finished construction. We read to explore the meaning of our lives in this created world, particularly about the people in it and their place within the frame of our own experience. We seldom look outside the frame; most often we gaze into our navels. When we do look outside, at the sky, for example, we are often awe-struck, and silent. Only marvelous writers can react to that spacious mystery. I think of Mary Oliver and Thoreau and Annie Dillard. But all of them eventually turn back to navel-gazing, the place of humans in that creation. It is as if we were the sole center. Therefore the light and the shadow, the drama that we reveal in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, comes from the inside. The outside, the natural world has no real moral weight for a writer to comment upon. All that is projection. In fact, as a writer myself, my journey seems to always explore my internal world and discover myself in the center. In my characters and my stories, all the pieces are myself and all of the revelations are personal. So even if I share these revelations with others, they are only as impressive as the significance the revelations have to each reader’s navel-gazing.
I am attempting to reach that commonality with my reader by returning to science in my fiction. Science and this mystery of the world offer a common unbiased basis for us to discuss our dark and light, our private navels. Humans are such odd creatures in the world. Does the cat wonder what its purpose for being is? Does the dog wonder if its relationships are moral? Do birds pray? Are earthworms grateful?
Power surges, and the words come tumbling over shifting reality to bring treasures from the depths
Then the surge recedes leaving insubstantial salty foam and the pastel nuggets of live ideas buried deep under the shifting sands of my mind.