It's only human arrogance that makes us believe our pain is more significant than that of an animal. To the universe, both are a crisis of energy. And it's our arrogance that makes us think the tropes we attribute to time have inherent meaning beyond our own self-awareness -- The human evocations of 9am and 7pm and 11pm and 12 noon mean nothing to the world around us. The universe's processes and physics have no alignment with our assumptions of significance and temporal normality.
It's 2am. As I sit at my desk, a squirrel is panting, awake, in the nest it made in the space between my ceiling and roof. It's experiencing an excruciating urgency in its core, a consolidation of all awareness, a kinetic sparking pressure shredding out in smaller waves, contracting, then expanding into bigger waves, then contracting, then expanding into enveloping vastness, then contracting, and, then, expanding into kinetic detached pain anesthetized only by synaesthesiac conversion into red noise vision. And then declination and dazed panting. And then it happens again, and a few more times again, until her litter is born.
There's a brief period of rest and her cosmic stupefaction breaks in the compact, pert manner of a squirrel. She grooms herself and she scurries around to start tending to her children. Residual afterbirth still drags from her when a focused yet enveloping surge of awareness brings on rigor. Smell produces adrenaline, now feeling the slight change in air pressure, now hearing a cycle of brown noise then pink noise then brown noise then pink noise separate from the wash of aurality around her. And the afterbirth still attached behind her. Her guard had been down. She should have known long before now. In her blindness in the darkness she turns to face where the scent is strongest, puffing with her panting, adhering to her newly circuited urge to crouch before her children (there is not space to stand). In the moment of standoff, enveloping acuteness of skittering energy and rapid dense pounding become an obliviousness to the corporeal world around her, physically detaching in the preparation for and knowledge that the attack will be, preparing her for either the unfettered flight or cataclysmic pain about to hit. In her case, both.
The energy infused in her maternal urges dissipates as if it never was, and she bolts. The small cat, as feral as the squirrel, knows in whatever ways cats do that the squirrel is weak, perhaps it understands the smell of dragging afterbirth, and scatters at her instead of the defenseless children.
And there's a shredding flurry of pain and an oceanic engulfing of smell and an urgency of cataclysmic proportions sized to fit a geometry accounting for not just time and space but dimensions the universe only displays in moments of such disproportionate significance, in moments when energy becomes so pure and raw that it fuses with all energies, when a squirrel experiences frequencies so resonant and frenzied that the focus and power blow open a simultaneous exposure to the physics of dimensions previously hidden, only exposed when the phasing of sine-pure waves coalesce and produce peaks that range beyond scale powerfully enough to illuminate in the universe what is always there but for our knowing it, places in which a marker in a system of rotations is so insignificant as to be below noise and below statistical anomaly, to be meaningless in the most finite and devastating ways. And a final explosion of squirrel energy, and then dissipation, and then stasis.
Dimensions and geometries indifferent to anything and everything, reacting but not aware when energies disrupt or energies ignite, it is all the processes and cycles of energy and nothing else, of crisis and stasis and the equilibrium that always resumes.
The universe is at peace. Only we are in turmoil