I was looking down from the height of an adult at a three or four year-old little girl and she is my daughter, though her hair is dark, almost black. And she is stepping her way across the garden as I walk behind.
Our eyes collect the same vivid, colored light, seeing differently, as I follow―her protector. She ambles free of care, walking as one might paint with a finger, making an unplanned line, mixing the colors, changing direction. She is free to choose.
And as she walks, almost dances really, each stone or patch of moss or grass is as she assigns and imagines its significance. She steps on some, hops over others. She may decide on whim that it is important to her mother to avoid stepping on a crack. She relates to everything with her physical eyes, seeing them as they really appear.
But I see them as they are. And do not appear. The volume of soil beneath the grass, the depth of concrete, inferred depth of submerged rocks, patterns of drainage. Without effort my eyes pierce the visible to the subterranean course of utilities and further, to the legal realms of easements that created their path, to maintenance schedules that sustain the horticulture and the walks and the drives, to heavy burdens of the land’s taxation that sustain the bureaucracies of regulation and indolence and oppression above and far away.
My daughter is beautiful and she moves across vivid greens and grey into floral seas around her waist, seeing real beauty as if it were the world. Choosing her path.
And waking, I understood, rubbing my eyes into consciousness.
She is the voter. Reading the pamphlet, looking innocent, into the face of the candidates and seeing them standing with their families. Sincerely seeing them as they really appear, and yet utterly clueless. And the candidates want to help. They reach out across the media, extending their hands with prosperity and safety and education and fairness and the myriad functional attributes of apparent love that they do not actually possess to give. The voters are free to choose among appearances. And they vacillate as one might paint with a finger, making an unplanned line, mixing the colors, changing direction, assigning and imagining significance in feelings and phrases and mental images as if it were the world.
Who will be their father?
Down the path the way grows darker, stretching out of sight and there are places through gates. No child likes to frequent them, especially at night. A little girl becomes aware of the enormous size of the unknown part of her world. Places beyond the appearances she sees and the plays she acts. And she knows and will not go alone. Inside, she knows there are places you can wander and will never come back. Places far out of mind on a brilliant, sunny day, in the garden with her father.
And the voters are aware. Inside, they know they have contrived the connection between the appearances they see and the plays they vote. That there are places through legal gates where they will not go, alone, but seek, in polls, to know they are moving in crowds of peers and guided by many voices. Seek some main stream where there are people and it is light and they are safe from the dark places.
But it is only the physical light. It illuminates things as they really appear.
But not as they are.(shortlink to this article: http://wp.me/p3Rqg-2W4 )