She sits demurely on the step staring off at something. You want to know what but her face isn’t saying, her eyes soft, revealing nothing, her smile enticing, teasing, and out of grasp.
You want to sit with her, see what she looks at, what has captured her thoughts, and there is room on the step for you to join her, but you have never met, you cannot sit next to her, she there half a century ago, and you know she will only be the stuff of dreams one night.
If you desire to get from here to there, it helps to know there is, and for that matter where here is, for if you do not know where here is, you cannot get from here to there for with one step here has moved. And if you do not know where there is everywhere you go is there even if it is not the there you wanted to go.
He knew, the minute he stepped off, that it wasn’t going to end well. He should have realized it two steps earlier, but hindsight was of little use to him now. He knew he had to keep looking up, to focus on the sky. He knew he had to hope it would be like entering a black hole, where the end is certain but time slows and almost seems to stop. And, he remembered, the laws of physics break down inside the event horizon. What he knew he could not do was look down and see the ground rushing up at him. Even when you are 11, walking off the garage roof was not a really bright thing to do, the dare by your friends notwithstanding.
All singularities are naked and it is only when we clothe them that they crumble away. You step into this river only once but it is this water which will wet your feet when you step in the next and the next.
A reflection on Case 91 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)