Champagne Worlds

Here I sit in front of my computer
holding a fluted glass by its stem, 
thin as a sandpiper’s leg, gazing at, fascinated 
by a swarm of tiny bubbles blithefully rising up 
from the bottom of an inexpensive champagne, 
my head filled with the sound of tumbling 
chunks of thunder, my ears awash with 
the swooshing sounds of rain-soaked wind 
slashing against the windows.

I like to think of these bubbles as tiny worlds 
rising instantaneously out of nowhere, 
with an existence of only seconds. Tiny worlds – 
but nothing like our own. Rather, I imagine them 
as happy worlds, where the sky is always blue 
and sunny, the light always pure and warm, 
unmarred by conflict and struggle, where need 
is unheard of, where peace is laughter, and where 
dreams and aspirations are plucked off the tree 
of life like ripe, sweet fruit; where summer nights
are saturated with flower scents; and knowledge 
is for the good of all and never for evil ends;
and the tiny people living on those worlds prosper, 
are always smiling, though only briefly. 
For even in these tiny worlds nothing lasts, 
permanence is an illusion – as in ours.

As I watch these bubbles rising through 
the wine, I think of space, how it too
is like a liquid, a black liquid, and all the stars 
suspended in it are like bubbles in champagne. 
Champagne bubbles, of course, can only travel 
the depth of a glass they’re contained in – 
so that the more I drink of it the less space
those tiny bubbles have to travel. But as for
stars, how far can they travel before they
run out of space, if in fact space has a limit?  
Imagine all the stars suddenly crashing against 
some cosmic wall! What then?

And here’s a lifetime’s pondering:
champagne bubbles are contained in a glass, 
but space – what’s it contained in? Is it boundless, 
limitless, eternal as Einstein thought? A concept 
that hardly squares with human experience 
and only raises other mind-boggling questions, 
such as the idea that God is without beginning or end. 
Reason, logic, commonsense seem like useless 
instruments in the face of concepts like these – 
like a ship equipped with sails and rigging 
but no wind and no sea to sail on.

Well, I seem to have plunged myself into 
a black hole of thought from which I cannot 
extricate myself. So I think I will pour
myself another glass. I can think of
worse holes to be in. Here’s to you, reader! 

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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