It’s like this. I am stuck to the face of the earth, like a tack on a noticeboard, gravitating together with its rocky bits, not being slingshot into space, as the terranean ball holding us down slowly wobbles, rotates and surfs the Goldilocks zone around its sun.
There’s a Goldilocks zone in everything. Not just out in space between Mercury and Mars, not too hot or too cold, just right for a distinct brand of life that the oceans gave birth to, after they themselves spewed out of comets or asteroids in the late heavy bombardment. An alien liquid was cradled around our inner rocky sphere, in a ribbon of space that would not allow it to freeze nor vaporously boil away into space, as it would have in the tail of an outer-comet boomeranging around the sun on a return trajectory to its Kuiperian home world.
Is the Goldilocks Zone an in-between state? A momentary golden mean, a Buddhist middle path that was chanced upon in space by our host planet, but that we the people find difficult to realise in the abstract. Goldilocks finds that out in her own way in the original children’s tale. To get to equipoise, she has to first engage the extremes.
The middle path is a perfect cup of tea so difficult to get just right. Like so many things in life, the perfect cup exists on a knife’s edge of balance, of flavour, calibrated between correctly brewed leaves and an exacting dollop of warmed milk. Too much tea, the resulting beverage is bitter, a little extra milk and it turns unpleasantly milky. Sometimes in frustration, I have given up on tea and defected to coffee, due to the difficulty in negotiating balance. And then there was coffee.
Even relationships that make up the brickwork of our lives seem to require the zone. But of course, there will be no such equilibrium or luck with anything human. We did not evolve to attain homeostasis. We exist to take benignly and if not that, then be deftly predacious. How many friendships and familial relationships have been distorted by someone’s need to subtly predate? Balance is an acquired taste achieved through learning as opposed to instinct.
There’s a Goldilocks zone in my sleeping brain, when it’s not yet day nor quite night, I dream vague pictures from a future that isn’t yet. Then hours later in my waking life something happens and I wonder didn’t I dream that earlier in my very own twilight zone?
Out here in the extremes we watch mutely as countries of the people elect to be majoritarian and fiercely uninspired. From here, the Goldilocks zone is a mythical place always just out of our reach. We bypass it constantly, choosing instead either plebeian heaven or hell. Heaven is a concept that situates itself above us, perpetually unattainable and patronising as hell, that other place below us, we are apt to plummet into at the slightest pitfall. What if, there’s a middle-ground intermediary? An in-between state, which turns out to be better for us, neither up, nor down, with terra, firm with possibilities, never cleverly pious nor meretriciously bad, where water will flow and porridge will remain just right.