Nick Winkworth
and D. Quentin Paquette

Nick Winkworth
At the Still Point

At the Still Point
By D. Quentin Paquette

Inspiration Piece

“Physics, really? I never would have guessed it.”
What’s that supposed to mean?
“I don’t know, it’s just I couldn’t stand Physics.”
You loved Physics.
“No, no I did not.”
In fact, you still do.
“I was awful at it, and it was so unrealistic.”
You are spectacular at it, and there is nothing real that is not Physics.
“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Like what?
“Like this: look at me, look right into my eyes, and let me look at you without looking away.”
Furthest thing from my mind, looking away. Lean in a little closer even. Let me wonder what that scent is today.
“I dare you to tell me about that with physics.”
I accept.

It is impossible to say where it starts, there is only an infinite chaos of movement influencing movements, distances attenuating interactions by their square. Without enough separation in our perspective to always appreciate the resulting trajectories following one another rather than their seeming wandering from horizon to horizon.

It begins at a critical point, and we open our eyes to find ourselves face to face. Close enough for an appreciation of the gravity. There’s a closeness that continues to intensify even without movement, and the surroundings begin to collapse. The threshold is crossed to where we become aware of the effort needed not to move together. The contraction of the space around us is accompanied by a reciprocal expansion of time, and the complexity of causation simplifies and resolves into its component parts. With less to abstract from, the focus and awareness becomes more acute. And the foremost sensation is that of acceleration, of falling out of the world.

How’s that so far?
“You’re cheating.”
Oh, well then, I’ll stop.
“I didn’t say I wanted you to stop…”
As you wish…

It begins at the limit of the acceleration of the fall, where there is an endless moment in infinitesimal space. Xeno’s fractional distance just before touching. Where the probability of the potential veers rapidly in towards unity. Where the anticipation of touch is so intense as to ignore the distance and create the sensation of touch, and force the reality of touch into being. And then, the last remnant of the universe between collapses.

It begins with my hand on your shoulder blade – summer style and weather leave it bare. I had noticed, but that detail got lost with all the others in the depth of your gaze. Your skin surprises my fingers and they panic a moment before softening and adapting to the contour. You lean back into my hand just enough for it to make full contact and guide us both together. You raise your hands; they land with fingertips on my clavicles. A dynamism develops through us to the points of contact, transmitting pressures and tensions with their equal opposites, and we have established a single center and adopt a single trajectory. A sway shifts the pressure under our feet, registering our inertia as the universe halts its turning for us. The end of external movement leaves our internal movements genuine and true.

“You just added that part about my gaze.”
And I’m not turning away.
“Do you still have the power of speech?”
I might stammer a bit, but it’d be worth it to inspire your love, of physics.

It begins with the movements between us. The balance of pressures is maintained as my hand slides down over your ribs, which meet at on their rise, and then fall to let it pass below them. There is a trail of warm contact followed by a relative chill down your back finally ending up on your waist. My other hand rises across from the first to hold before the residual sensation of spinning creates actual spinning.

It begins with when the decision is made to stop working to hold back, to relax and begin to fall. “Where will it end?” has been discarded as an excuse, and it only remains to be seen where it will continuously begin. The world is renewed, and it may continue to spring anew, unnoticed from the still point.

Would you close your eyes d’you think?
“I’m not sure. I’m never sure until that very moment. You?”
No, no, not me.
“Is there more?”
Much more than’s been dreamt of in my notebook.
“Tell me?”
In a moment. I was about to decide something.

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