The mathematics governing such things must be very complex. And yet, given how long we can watch them – waterfalls, cream swirling into coffee, the switchbacks of water droplets running down a wet window – I suspect that our unconscious minds must be able to almost grasp it: we're drawn to these things as we are drawn to what we almost, but can't quite, predict. As we are to a good story. A story fascinates us if we can almost, but not quite, predict its outcome: every plot turn makes you think: “of course! I could have guessed that, it had to happen!” at the same time as you know: actually, “I wouldn't have guessed that in a thousand years: it's only in hindsight that its inevitability is clear.”
But still, there some understanding of how things must be. Something snaps shut with a satisfying click.
The birch trees are pale yellow, and their peeling white and black bark gleams behind the strands of leaves, like eyes behind a teenager's hair. I am too cold with my coat off, too warm with it on: I settle for wearing it like a cape.
December. We met the neighbor whose back yard meets ours: she was all in black, black pants, black sweater, black parka, black mittens, and she looked very slight, as though she might blow away in a strong wind. Her teeth were pleasingly crooked, stitched in every which way: I wanted to draw them. She's looking after the place for her brother and his wife, who will be back in the spring. They have a poetry board in the front yard: the weathered poem in it is Yeats's Wandering Aengus:
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name