falling off the edge of the world
A funny thing. It occurs to me – half sick with fear – that as we stand facing down any one direction the picture we see is one from infancy. The same one we learn to capture with a camera, or a blink of the eye, a mirror image almost.
An heirloom with the family portrait painstakingly airbrushed out.
What there is behind us is forever an unknown quantity: a maybe; a perhaps; an unidentified blip on our primal radar.
Of course we all know the world is round. It\’s banged upside our heads even as we lift a peach. But what good is that in the instant with our backs to the unknown ? Stand on the spot and spin, on a sixpence, and we just as quickly come to the conclusion that the sky paints a seamless picture on our retinal nerve. Unbroken. Flowing. No back, no front.
We confound the foetal self as we build momentum like apprentice dervishes, first dizzy then nauseous in our fright.
The world is all there to see in 360 degrees. Plain as day. Just the same as if we stepped on an aeroplane and made the same circuit – twice around our own backyard in 48 hours.
Apologies to Gentlebear, who drew attention to the very same Peggy Lee song quite recently, a Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller composition, arranged by Randy Newman.
▼ PEGGY LEE: IS THAT ALL THERE IS ? from \”Is That All There Is ?\” LP (Capitol) 1969 (US)