Dixon remembers the Tale Emerson lov’d to tell, of Galileo before the Cardinals, creaking to his feet after being forc’d to recant, muttering, “Nonetheless, it moves.” Watch, patiently as before the Minute-Hand of a Clock, become still enough, and ‘twould all begin to move. . . . This, Dixon understands, is what Galileo was risking so much for, – this majestick Dawn Heresy. ” ‘Twas seeing not only our Creator about his Work,” he tells Mason later, “but Newton and Kepler, too, confirm’d in theirs. The Arrival, perfectly as calculated, the three bodies sliding into a single Line. . . . Eeh, it put me in a Daze for fair.” Whatever the cause, the times he records are two to four seconds ahead of Mason’s.
– Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon
Stay thirsty, my friends. Although,
This, or odd behavior like it, is going on all over the World all day long that fifth and sixth of June, in Latin, in Chinese, in Polish, in Silence,- upon Roof-Tops and Mountain Peaks, out of Bed-chamber windows, close together in the naked sunlight whilst the Wife minds the Beats of the Clock,- thro’ Gregorians and Newtonians, achromatick and rainbow-smear’d, brand-new Reflectors made for the occasion, and ancient Refractors of presposterous French focal lengths,- Observers lie, they sit, they kneel,- and witness something in the Sky. Among those attending Snouts Earth-wide, the moment of first contact produces a collective brain-pang, as if for something lost and already unclaimable,- after Years of preparation, the long and at best queasy voyaging, the Station arriv’d at, the Lattitude and Longitude well-secur’d, – the Week of the Transit,- the Day,- the Hour,- the Minute,- and at last ’tis, “Eh? where am I?”
– Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon, previous page
Try not to let the force of rational knowledge riptide you away from the other kinds. Nearly impossible. But not quite.