The Ancient Modern
Physics of Insight / Joshua Alan Sturgill
I’ve read Heisenberg; I know not to attempt any movement
while I know where I am. When the storm approaches, I work
at keeping still. It’s mathematically simple: immobile,
I’m less likely to be struck by chance lightning
or by the lightning of chance. My goal: one good strike per storm.
Not from fear. I’ve been electrocuted in all kinds of ways,
and even benefited from it, proving once again how punishment
is its own reward. This is all to say: when inspiration arrives, stop.
Don’t walk while you are writing; don’t run while you’re
in love. Don’t leap into the hazard of saying something helpful.
It’s architecturally simple: a suspicion of exteriors
without structure. I have enough trouble with myself and you
know how hard it is — that kicking, squirming inner life.
I work at being still so the kicking can continue until the Revelation
is freed. It’s true, every few centuries, some thinker insists
on terrestrializing the whole universe — insists, that is, on making
every square inch of Heaven obey Earth’s rules. I object! Gravity
is best explained as patient desire, not force or law.
Heaven’s labor is, above all, delay. The long conflagration;
the well-timed strike; the leisurely apocalypse. So I don’t mind
burning. It’s thermodynamically simple: If I can manage
the stillness, I can make the heat last until the insight is forged