A Book within a Book within a Book

Emily - Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Entered on February 5, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50

When I was little I had a picture book entitled My Bedtime Book. On the cover of the book, a little boy was reading My Bedtime Book. On the cover of that book, a little boy was reading My Bedtime Book. It went on and on forever. It was a book about going to bed, but how could I go to sleep with the prospect of endlessness lurking? I stared and stared at the picture within the picture. The endless chain of book within book gave me chills.

I believe in eternity. I look up at the smoggy winter sky. Above the smog is blue sky. Above the blue sky is atmosphere. Above the atmosphere is outer space. I don’t know what is above outer space, but I believe in the existance of the unknown.

There is no end to knowledge. The atom is the smallest unit of matter. It consists of subatomic particles. Subatomic particles consist of even smaller units of matter. I don’t know what is smaller than that. For everything studied, there is infinitely more to know. Think of a single blade of grass. If I could know everything about that blade of grass, I would understand the universe. Eternity is like a translucent sphere–a sea of glass. Everything I know is a slice, a crescent of the eternal moon.

The world is only a crude approximation of what is possible. Eternity is like the blue-sky world above the smog. Every now and then there are flashes of insight, when the sun shines through the clouds. Glimpses come at moments in life when when everything else is pared away. I witnessed a birth. I attended a funeral. I passed through moments of sorrow and I survived. For fleeting moments I understood eternity.

I believe that human life is infinite. I walk with my eyes cast down toward the sidewalk, briefly acknowledging the presence of people passing. If I really knew the possibilities of a human life, would I grunt a half-hearted greeting? No. I would respond to others with greater love and acceptance because infinite possibility stirs just beyond what I see, what I know.

I believe in eternity. I believe in life after death. I believe in infinite knowledge. I believe that life is sacred. I believe that eternity can be found in everyday things: a face, a blade of grass, a sky, a mirror, a book within a book within a book.