A man falls 24 miles from somewhere this side of heaven at a speed of 834 miles per hour, tumbling while bordering on the verge of unconsciousness. No problem. Eventually gravity and increasing air pressure work as one, creating resistance and balance so the man-of-science/daredevil is able to elude disaster, finally, stepping casually back to a place where motion is barely detectible in a universe filled with ever-turning cosmic gears, collapsing stellar mass, and other things that go bump in the night.
Meanwhile, back on the surface of the Earth, someone enjoys a southerly breeze, in the middle of October, in a place in Minnesota where the leaves lay crunch-worthy on dry lawns and in curb gutters, and where pea-sized, pea-colored tree seeds fill sidewalk cracks. Little orbs that dare to make our planet appear more significant than it really is.
There’s a young lady kneeling on the grass of the old high school football field, digging around in the turf with a metal detector by her side. From behind, she is young, approachable to some, no doubt, and clad in blue jeans and a blue shirt. Her long brown hair dances in the breeze as her trowel blade clinks against metal. Less likely a gold nugget. More likely an errant screw or bolt from the installation of the new fence around the old field where junior high soccer players practice for global supremacy in a sport made for global worship (once those pesky globalists, one-world visionaries, finally get their way).
Farther down the street, an elderly man, seated in one of those uncomfortable white plastic indoor/outdoor chairs, smoking a stogie, probably long bored of both work-life and home-life, moves swiftly from the front yard and back into the three-seasonal porch of his home, hiding from a passerby who, he worries, might be selling something. The passerby, having seen the man half a block away, wonders, what the hell! Just walking here!, while smelling the faint stench of cigar remnants.
At least the sky allows the sun to shine. It hangs. It lingers. Not too warm though. After all, this is not the desert. This is not the inferno terrain where T.E. Lawrence led an Arab uprising against the Turkish Empire. That was a time, way back then, when Damascus was ripe for the taking and the grapes of Damascus were not yet ripe. That was a time when Persia was primitive…wait a minute…sort of like today where there’s been an explosion from a car bomb. Car bombs thank the auto industry which thanks Henry Ford which thanks American know-how which thanks the Industrial Revolution which thanks the Age of Enlightenment. Sure. Not so cut and dry as all that, but you get the idea.
Peace in the Middle East? Yeah, that’ll happen.
A woman digs for buried treasure while one man hides from life and another man falls 24 miles from the sky. Yes, he descends. So much for reaching for the heavens.