What always existed and always will exist is an amorphous, endless field of potential and possibility, a swirl of gaseous nothingness equal with somethingness. It is Lao Tzu’s mother of all things, the Buddhist’s void and nirvana, the philosopher’s mystery and the poet’s magic. The silence of silence and the silence of words. Call it what you like, it is real as you and I and holds in its pocket the destiny of existence: all presences.

But itself, meaning in essence it is pocketless; in fact, neither naked nor clothed. Wordless as the feather its whisper resembles. And not just wordless: imageless, a ghostly non-reflection in the mirror of chance. For nothing reflects the character of the eternal, the always was and will be, so much as chance.

Chance as potent and permanent as possibility, and as deterministic as it is free. As full of intent as existence is to be something. Always tending toward realization just as the notions of lust and love do. Or any idea that manifests itself as the glory of phenomena equal to the glory of death, which presupposes a life ballasted by flesh, by the ordinary no less than by passion or even ecstasy.

And no less by the gaseous no-beginning and fastastical-in-its-possibility no-ending that in the greatest understatement there ever was contexualizes my life. My few years compared to the universe’s—or even the earth’s—or even homo sapiens’ almost inconceivable age . . . not to say my smallness, physical as well as temporal, in the face of infinite immensity.

The universe expands backwards and forwards. Actually, the universe has no respect for, if even notion of time, so in the big picture the number of my years is insignificant, as it is where those years fell in the timeless quantum called both history and astral time, which encompasses the imageless, conceptless no-time of forever.

Can or should such an abstraction be talked or written about? But it is more than abstraction, difficult as it is to pin down exactly what. Maybe the ultimate concern is not what; the final question or mystery is not the inconceivable majesty and magic of eternity—let us call it that for convenience—but our place in it.

Or, rather, the poetry—praise or ineffability; at any rate, the wonder—of our place in it. Not isolated, egotistical wonder, but the one-with-all-things wonder that makes life worth living, worth at least as much as what negates or just resists it. (That is, assuming the two are different, and if they are that it even matters in the long run since what goes on is simply a permutation of what has always gone before and what will always go on: the mother of all things, the endless field of possibility, the ageless ferment of all ages.)