Bachelard and the Owl
Breakfast with Gaston Bachelard when an owl hit our window. Tremendous thud. Gaston was saying that it is calculus that places the real at the heart of a coordinated possibility. Birds are always hitting the windows out here. One would think they would see the smudges, the matter a kind of writing that impedes a path through lucid space. Dog barked at the other side of the glass. Owl stood there dazed, upright. Gaston was saying that the mind accepts a reality that has become a piece of its own game. Dog nervous, the way the owl stood still. Gaston said that Einstein had first fixed light and then deduced the properties of spacetime that fell out of that assumption. Owl shaking its head, like a drunkard. Gaston knew other things, too. Whereas we first arranged atoms by [measurable] atomic weight, we later arranged them by atomic number, which was [at first] a theoretical construct. Dog contributed nothing new. Sadistic impulse to open the door and let the dog have at it, the owl. I stopped myself. It would have been cruel to everyone. Long while, owl flew thirty yards to the field. Landed again, still dazed in the taller grasses.