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  • Writer's pictureMartha Hartney

Letter to My Lover, Science

Oh, Science! Blessed lover, fire-tender, dream-seeder, who held me through lonely nights as my children slept unaware of our epic love affair. Secret companion bellowing the flames under the cauldron of my imagination.

I thank the giver of language for you. Heaven knows you've rescued me, rescued us from the clutches of the -isms we were born into. Blessings abound from your piercing light, destroying the superstitions of old that have kept us in enthralled to the powerful who claim truth's upper hand and knowledge of God’s inscrutable machinations. You who destroy the terrifying tales of an unseeable enforcer, the separator, the boogeyman God picking off the bad little children, the lovers, the liars, the pickpockets, and the hated.

With equation, method, and diagram, you saved us, children of the earth, from priests and popes, kings and conquerors. We children who have been easy pickings for the terror-laden, mind-spinning, life-squeezing mental viruses and the edifices of law, religion, and yes, family.

Thank you, sweet Science! For rescuing my mind and giving me something so much more fascinating to see for realz--the enormity of it all, the vastness of creation so much bigger than I could grasp with my little cart-wheeling mind. Thank you for being the bearer of awe of trees and tides and tectonic plates.

Thank you for showing me the realm of the tiniest of things contains universes my imagination can fashion joy out of. Language of math mystics and wide-eyed geeks and wonder-seekers. Oh, how we strive to know how it all is.

You liberate us, you enliven us, you who have shown that being a feeling thing on a ball of rock and water and air in an average star system in a rather lovely galaxy in a nondescript neighborhood of the universe is a magnificent dish of both luck and destiny.

But lover? There’s something I need to tell you. It may be hard to hear.

Beloved, what you’ve ask of me in return is nothing I can give. Sometimes you've asked me to abandon magic altogether as a quaint remnant of the -ism you rescued me from, not remembering that even you cannot explain the most important question of all. The thing before the thing that did the thing. You don’t get it anymore than I do so why must you insist on taking grace and mystery away from me?

Sweet, delicious Science. You’ve demanded that we mothers’ ignore our natural concern at pre-infecting our infants with 36 viruses before they're three years old. You've said our babies’ brains are malfunctioning and need a prescription only you can provide when they're unable to sit still under fluorescent bulbs and forced to follow orders from a larger life form. You've declared our little ones have corrupted code because they want to run and jump and slide and giggle instead of add, read, recite, and memorize.

Science, fabulous mind fucker that you are, you've told us to not feed our babies from our breasts because you can feed babies better than our disgusting humanity can. Then you told us that, oops, you were wrong about that, but by that time we discovered you were wrong, we'd lost the wisdom that used to be passed from grandmother to mother. And that's a tragic deficit, an expensive injury to a generation because of the hubris you acquired in your glorious overthrow of superstition.

You've told us to feed our babies on o’clock. You've told us to place our wee ones in a wood crates so their daddies don't crush them after a few too many. And you've told us to not hold them so much so they learn to think for themselves. You've forgotten that we've been doing this human-making thing for a lot longer than you or the -isms that are still hanging on by a thread, and without even having to think about it really, we've done pretty well at it for, oh, eons.

You’ve stripped the elemental chemicals from humanity’s plants and trees and given them to patent holders who hold the patents over our collective heads. You’ve taken the earth’s bounty once stewarded for all, converted them to currency, and steered the flow of the earth’s waters into the pools of those who started playing the game long before any of the rest of us knew there was a game to be played.

You’ve unlocked the secrets of our minds for marketers to manipulate with sight and sound and desire and wielded our deepest sorrow of not enoughness against us. Our enslavement has only changed in appearance. Our enslavers just wear suits instead of stoles, ties instead of tiaras.

Physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, economics, statistics, mathematics, cosmology, engineering, quantum mechanics! You're seeking and solving and wondering gives me shivers of delight. Especially that last one. And yet, you will never be able to capture and hold my delight in a petri dish or analyze it under a chromatoscope. You won't be able to cook up a delicious recipe to replicate it and ensure my children have ample portions of delight for dinner every night.

But you can make sure that every child has a home. You can make sure every infant has a mama or two or ten. You can make sure we all get to look up at a clear, unpolluted night sky and feel the plane of the ecliptic as home and the galaxy beyond holding us like a good parent who adores us. You can help us harvest sunlight and walk carefully on the belly of our mama earth. You can help us remember that borders are not laws of nature, but thieved lines on a projection. You can put a medium of trade in every living hand so that no one has to go hungry or thirsty or untended by a healer ever again. You can teach us to have faith in the majesty of life, the law of giving, and the law of return.

You, blessed Science, are the answer to the way things have been but should no longer be. You could be so much more than you are even now, my love. You can help us reveal when we've gone astray. You can even reveal when you've gotten too big for your own beautiful, neutral, peer-reviewed britches!

Science, dear Science. You are the greatest blessing of humanity. You've shown us the way out of the dark. You've shown us the height of heaven is beyond comprehension. You've declared that we are not even possible unless there are 11 dimensions. Hallelujah! Let's play hide-and-seek for the other seven! Who's It?!

Thank you for setting our minds free to roam about the multiverse, singing and dancing and rhyming and rhythming and saying "NO!" when we damn well feel like it. I hope you understand that I am free to also say "NO!" even to you.

You'll never be able to feel the manna of breath nor will you be able to suspend life in an equation. Our souls will never be an engram or algorithm or function. The wisdom and courage and perseverance of our heart engine just can't be coded or programmed, weighed or measured.

For you are the romance language given to us to know the ineffable. But we, beloved Science, we are the Ineffable.

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