Event Horizon by Terry Bain

Event Horizon

April Ninth

Tomorrow we will see the first picture of a black hole’s event horizon, specifically the super-massive structure at the center of our galaxy, and my thoughts sit with the astro-physicists who have turned their attention to this task, ready to reveal their findings. I wonder how they cope when they are as tired as I have been today, still working out the model of a point in space beyond which no information escapes, and I am ashamed at the number of times I have yawned, taking in a full drag of air into my lungs, the pull toward sleep inescapable.

You know what else? Grief can be so massive that nearby matter may be pulled into its vortex and added to the shrinking, clamoring, dying star that used to be be your joy, until nothing escapes, no light no pain no conversation no work no words no passage of time. But grief also may allow moments of improbable joy, with time and patience and assistance and the ability to feel the darkness and acknowledge it and speak the words clearly from beyond the event horizon: “I recognize your importance, but I am more than you.”

There is a supercomputer working out the last data to show us a picture of an event that we cannot see and can barely imagine. The black hole at the center of our galaxy is one of the darkest, most intense phenomena in the universe, its gravity inescapable, but I know it will also seem familiar, almost comforting, more than a little like a picture of home.

Event Horizon Telescope collaboration et al.
Terry Bain is the author of You Are a Dog and We Are the Cat ‡ TwitterInstagramLetterboxdTinyLetter
Copyright 2019 Terry Bain