Looking Inside a Bubble

Robert does not explain himself.  He does not ask for explanation either.  It is not that he doesn’t want to know. Because he does.  He does want to know.  I realized that during Holiday Season when Robert was seven years old.  At that time, our Christmas ornaments were  made  of brittle, beautiful glass and Robert broke them all.  He already knew that when such ornaments fell from the tree, or slip through the hands, they break.  He also knew that he couldn’t make them whole again.  What he did not know and wanted to learn  was what  precisely was happening in the exact moment of change, the moment ornaments broke.  So sitting on the floor and tilting his whole body to the side so that his  cheek was almost on the floor he watched the glass as it was shuttering.  He also tried to figure out the breaking height.  First, he released the ornament from  just an inch or two  above the floor.  It didn’t break .  So he kept increasing  the distance  until the sphere split into a few pieces. The conclusion as to what precisely took place in the moment of this metamorphosis must have escaped Robert because as I rush to clean the glass, Robert ran for the next ornament to perform another experiment.

Whatever he learned, Robert did not share with me. I was left to my own guesses. At first, I thought that he wanted to establish the critical distance from the floor that leads to breaking of the glass.  Lately, I suspect that he wanted to slow the process hoping he would catch some sort of entity escaping from the glass bubble.  Or that he wanted to see the inside of the whole ornament.    And he hit an epistemological wall.  To see the inside of the ornament  he had to break it.  When he broke it he couldn’t see the entire inside of the sphere.  Did Robert realize the limits of knowledge and, in his wordless world, formulated his own uncertainty principle?