Here’s how the book starts.
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The Dark Matter
Know that such a dark circle as this is not empty but filled in the way a seemingly empty cup still contains the potential of volume. Know also that in the longest nights, these are the spaces worth holding. Look up and out from the same vantage point you have used to ponder all your days and nights and understand that you will see no difference even were you to stare up into such darknesses for all your life entire: focusing not upon a star or cluster or nebula or galaxy but rather upon the empty spaces between and even though you know it to be an illusion of scale such knowledge does little to increase the range of your vision. Were you to flit to some more distant vantage the whole of it would change, each landmark metamorphosing so completely that it would have become something else. Find, then, your Centaurus. Your V645. Your Alpha A and B. Find your Barnard’s Star, your Wolf 359, and your Lalande 21185. Fix them if you will with your azimuth quadrant and astrolabe. Your false and meaningless compass points. Fool that you are. That we all are. Stare then into that darkness as if it might reveal something of itself. And know that it never will.
Halos of light bend through the black spaces even now, lensing through clusters of stars and through the heat-spread temperatures of hot gases in distant galaxies. An eight sigma to indicate that the formula has gone awry. What else then? Take your Galton Board and drop the tiny metal balls down through the pins and into the channels and you will see the curve that is the guiding principle of everything that moves. Place that against your eight sigma. Now do you believe me? A network of filament and line and curved space and the illusion that something—time, gravity, matter—somehow abides. And perhaps it is so. The universe all around you as flat as a sheet of paper for reasons you cannot even begin to understand and yet the whole clockworks in motion.
Relax then into in your squeaky metal lawn chair and slip your eyes closed and let tears swim up out of the black depths that drive you. Now cast your metaphors aside. Know that the materials stringing together the bleakest aspects of the human heart are the same that web over the universe itself. And know too that such descriptions are specious but they are the best you can do. You will go nowhere, for where might you go? There is no where. There is no here. There is no now. There is only what is: a squeaky metal lawn chair. A taped-together telescope. A sense that whatever you once thought was your purpose has already been forgotten. There will be no remembering it no matter how long you stay out here in the warm night air, your smoke-addled head staring up into the night.
Know, at least, that the absence you feel in your heart is not an isolation but is rather a sliver of something larger: an indication that you are connected to the dark matter itself. The filaments pulse to the secret rhythm of your life which is the secret we all keep close and silent and is therefore so secret at all. Even this: an illusion. A feeble metaphor like so many others. Nothing like anything else because everything breaks down to its tiniest particles and smaller still and yet connected even now like a dusting of letters collected together here and here and here, a constituency of meaning rising up out of a topography of fragmented sounds. These sounds. Now. This the dark matter connecting you and I. Let it flow into and out of you. Let it be a black river. Breathing.