A Retrospective on Bateson's Cube

Judas Reidfelt


From atop the very tip of the spire, you can clearly see the world laid out in front of you.
There are mountains carving out the skyline all on their own,
With no help from buildings nor man-made structures, such as the very spire you perch upon.
The sight is familiar and it does not phase you.
But, what does send a strike down your spine is the way that as you tilt your head, the world seems to always shift itself to face you.
This movement proves to you that there is no depth to any of it, as far as you can tell.
You are at the top of the spire, and certainly the only thing truly real in the world you can see.

You turn your westward head east, and the same happens again.
Yet this time, there is a small change, surely;
In that millisecond between the swiveling of the world, unless it was a trick of the light,
You could have sworn you saw just a glimpse of a mountaintop’s curvature.
You shift your head from side to side.
For a long time, atop your western spire, you shake your head with your eyes intent on the mountains in front of you.
You are staring east, and you will make the world reveal itself to you.

You resist your exhausted body’s urge to fall back and, in turn, off of the spire.
Desperation had kicked in long ago, though you had only begun to draw upon its reinvigorating properties recently.
Your neck is clicking with every turn you force, and you can feel the very bones within you grind against each other.
Your eyes are painfully dry, as you have refused to blink for a very long time.
A northern wind gusts viciously, and instinctually, you dig your fingers knuckle-deep into the spire-

But your eyes are shutting, now, and your brain can hardly manage to move your eyes and your neck any longer.
Violently shaking, you pry open your eyes and try to see how the mountains move.
You are bleary-eyed. You are so high up.
The wind kicks up rubble, but you could see.
The flat mountains lag behind, and for a second, in between their two flat planes, you could see. You could very clearly see a city’s skyline.

It occurs to you then, after all of this time, that you had never looked behind you.
Your neck is too sore to turn, but you piece together what you can with the consciousness you had left.
If the world only existed in front of you, and there was more beyond the mountains you could see, and it seemed to go on forever and ever,
then,
You are at the very back of the world, and all that is is in front of you.

From atop your western spire, you let the northern wind take you, and you tumble down the mountain.