Editor’s Note: After weeks of smoke-filled air, today the sky is clear and blue. Have you ever wondered how you might explain color to someone who cannot see it?
What is blue-of-sky, or red-of-strawberry, or gold-of aspen-leaf?
Today it is like seeing blue for the first time, blue in every direction. A miracle.
Little by little, wean yourself.
This is the gist of what I have to say.
From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood,
move to an infant drinking milk,
to a child on solid food,
to a searcher of wisdom,
to a hunter of more invisible game.
Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo.
You might say, “The world outside is vast and intricate.
There are wheat fields and mountain passes,
and orchards in bloom.
At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight
the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding.”
You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up
in the dark with eyes closed.
Listen to the answer.
There is no “other world.”
I only know what I’ve experienced.
You must be hallucinating.
translated by Coleman Barks
1. Explain a color to someone who has never seen it.
2. You have been an embryo, an infant, a child. Have you been “a searcher of wisdom” or “a hunter of more invisible game?” Describe that existence.
3. What “hallucinations” have you heard about a world beyond/before/beside/after this one? Do you believe that?