Every once in a while facebook can surprise us. And I don’t mean springing a new format on us (I do enjoy the ‘new facebook,’ by the way). What I mean is that there might actually be something worth reading somewhere on someone’s wall or in a note. It isn’t all worthless chain letters and ‘which character are you?’ quizzes. Obviously, I say this because I found something. Just read.
From space, astronauts can see people making love as a tiny speck of light. Not light, exactly, but a glow that could be confused for light – a coital radiance that takes generations to pour like honey through the darkness to the astronaut’s eyes.
In about one and a half centuries – after the lovers who made the glow will have long since been laid permanently on their backs – the metropolitan cities will be seen from space. They will glow all year. Smaller cities will also be seen, but with great difficulty. Towns will be virtually impossible to spot. Individual couples invisible.
The glow is born from the sum of thousands of loves: newlyweds and teenagers who spark like lighters out of butane, pairs of men who burn fast and bright, pairs of women who illuminate for hours with soft multiple glows, orgies like rock and flint toys sold at festivals, couples trying unsuccessfully to have children who burn their frustrated image on the continent like the bloom a bright light leaves on the eye after you turn away from it.
Some nights, some places are a little brighter. It’s difficult to stare at New York City on Valentine’s Day, or Dublin on St. Patrick’s. The old walled city of Jerusalem lights up like a candle each of Chanukah’s eight nights. Trachimday is the only time all year when the tiny village of Trachimbrod can be seen from space, when enough copulative voltage is generated to sex the Polish-Ukrainian skies electric. We’re here, the glow of 1804 will say in one and a half centuries. We’re here, and we’re alive.
It’s an excerpt from Jonathan Safran Foer’s book, Everything is Illuminated. I did a little research and was brought to this site here. I’ll sum things up a little bit. Foer is an award winning author and this particular book won him many awards including the National Jewish Book Award. Foer originally intended to write a non-fiction piece about his trip to Ukraine in search of a woman who supposedly saved his grandfather from the Nazis. The resulting, more fictionalized, book reflects what Foer learned about love in his unsuccessful attempt at finding the mysterious Augustine. Okay, so that’s the brief (brief, brief, brief) summary of what I read. If I read the book, I will have more to say. My school library has 3 copies of the book apparently, which is convenient.
Just ignore the message for a second. Appreciate the imagery. (I think the poetry unit in school is rubbing off on me.) I especially like this line, “to pour like honey through the darkness.” And this one, “enough copulative voltage is generated to sex the Polish-Ukrainian skies electric,” I really like. It’s just completely there and bare. I can see the way the sky would look if we were to sex it electric. There are glimmers of pure white light that are both soft and comforting, and sparkling like firecrackers and spitting mad and powerful. And you can reach out and touch it because it looks so close, but really it’s already miles and miles and years and years away.
The whole world ought to be able to look at sex like this, at one point or another. “We’re here, and we’re alive.”