If I can’t see it, does it really exist?

Night approaches the Ouachita National Forest.
Night approaches the Ouachita National Forest.

The sky was filled with white clouds.  So, there was no sky.  No sky?  Well, a different sky, perhaps.  A white sky, lower than that other sky of the day before.  The blue one with the ghost of a moon barely visible.

My wife Charlotte drove the road through the Ouachita National Forest on our way to Fort Smith.  She does the driving since I am legally blind and have no driver’s license.

Jory Sherman
Jory Sherman

So, I sat there in the passenger seat and looked up at the clouds that formed a canopy over the beautiful forest.  The clouds glowed with a soft luminosity. They moved in slow motion.  I knew that the glow came from the sun that shone above them with an intensity that would have blinded anyone if the clouds had not obscured it.

But, was the sun there, burning fierce in a blue sky beyond my limited vision?

I had to have faith that the sun was there along with that faint phantasm of a moon.

Questions formed in my mind.  Is something there beyond the clouds?  Above them?  If the sun could not be observed, did it actually exist?  The age-old question also surfaced.  If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound if no one is there to hear it?

Some scientists claim that unless an object is observed, it does not exist.

Ancient philosophers mention that all matter, including life, is an illusion.

What lay beyond those clouds that I could not see?  Was our galaxy still there?  Were there universes beyond this one that are not even visible with the most powerful telescopes?

What of dark matter and dark energy.

These are invisible, so do they really exist?

thumbTheoretical physicists say that such forces do exist, along with all the miniscule particles and subatomic entities that we cannot see.

If a human being were transported here from somewhere else on this cloudy day, what would he see?  Might he believe that the low white clouds that glowed and pulsed was earth’s sky?

He might, because to him, this was the sky and nothing lay beyond.  There were no planets, no stars, no galaxies, just a cottony sky that might stretch into infinity.

Some things, some serious things, it seems, we must take on faith.  Blind faith.  I knew, in my limited mind and somewhere in my heart, that something lay beyond those low fluffy clouds.

In my nearly sightless world, I must have faith to see what lies beyond.

Is there anything beyond that hill that rises from where I stand in my garden?  If I walk to the top, I can see that there is another hill, and after that hill, still another.

There is always something beyond what we can see.

Beyond those clouds, there is a blue sky, a glazing star and that pale mirage of a moon.

What lies beyond is the wondrous universe with its magical geometry, and beyond that more universes.

What lies beyond is what our imaginations can summon and envision.  Imagination, then, is part of reality.  Illusion has no place in human imagination.

There is always something that lies beyond what we can see with our eyes.

Might there be another Eden just beyond the next hill?

Please click the book cover image to read more about Jory Sherman and his novels.

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  • Caleb Pirtle

    It doesn’t matter whether or not you see it, Jory. If you write it, it exists.

    • And if it didn’t exist before you wrote it, it does now. Awesome power, creating things out of nothing.

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