The Safe Bet

They say Lady Godiva put everything she had on a horse,  but what if the wager had grown from speculating whether  everything on earth is always growing steadily, incrementally,  or whether things are inevitably falling apart?  The safe bet  would be the latter, of course, the smart call. You’d have  gravity on your side, that wormy apple hitting feckless Newton  smack on the skull every time. There’d be 9/11, the Falling Man,  the icy Titanic, Trump, Q, and each driverless, non-fungible Tesla to boot.    But National Geographic reports that Mount Everest actually grew two feet  last year. Tenzing and Norgay would’ve just fallen short. Today they’d be  leaping like slow motion Tik Tok NBA ballers trying to hang on the rim  of the moon. And those Oregon settlers buried side by side in hastily dug  graves two hundred years ago just worked their way to the surface after  all this time, some Farmer Brown’s boy’s dog sniffing at the rain-soaked  gray cannon balls of their skulls, their ribs curved up like little cathedrals.     It’s as if everything wants more open sky, more canopy over our heads,  to make room for all of what’s rising, all our loneliness growing greater  every night, as if the earth itself is a seed stuck in Whitman’s muddy  boots, as if the moon coming up over that ruddy fence is the face  of the child we’ve loved and have lost, as if that’s who we all  should be out looking for, betting the house every time. 

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