Center for Creative Inquiry

When it rains does space get wet?


Since inquiry is at the heart of the TSK vision, it seems appropriate that the title of the book, When it Rains Does Space Get Wet?, is itself a question.

Of course, the warning not to settle for answers is thunderous in TSK, but I can’t resist trying to answer the author’s—Jack Petranker’s—question. Perhaps a new strategy will emerge in which provisional, ambivalent answers can sally forth, like Don Quixote, riding into battle astride a steed that is not what it professes to be.

In that spirit, here is a less-than-provisional answer to Jack’s question:

The dog shaking drops of ocean water over her shocked, sun-bathing owner may not know it is really space shaking space onto space. And the Pacific Ocean, from which she has emerged with the piece of driftwood in her mouth, will go on claiming to be all about wetness. But who can say? Perhaps space really is wet. Perhaps wetness is itself spacious so that space must be wet in order to accommodate this spacious wetness.

If space is wet, it must be wet down to its roots, not like a duck’s back but more like a tree–drawing rain water up toward the heavens, even as it conducts sunlight down into the Earth. After all, isn’t space an intimate friend of all that arises within it?

I expect I am indulging in a kind of personification of space, attributing to it characteristics whose appearance it makes possible. Kind of like thinking that God must be a white-haired, elderly gentleman because that corresponds to my own human scale of embodied wisdom and concern. But I’m sure that space will not be disturbed by any allegation I am capable of casting in its direction . . .

But wait, what direction is that again? If space is everywhere, the finger pointing at it must also be space.

Photo by Eutah Mizushima