Virtual reality: an artificial environment created with software, presented in such a way that the user accepts it as real.
As digital tendrils tighten their grip
We retreat into a world of pixels,
Screen-glow and keystrokes.
We are poorer for it.
The virtual is only a mirror
No more real than reflections cast in water.
The fence line that crosses the creek is tired. It leans off kilter, like me some days.
Only barbwire keeps the weather-worn post from joining its reflection with a splash. Or perhaps it will be a slower end, a silent slipping-below-the-waves demise.
But for now it is still there. Still doing its job.
That’s all we can ask of anyone.
The neighbour’s creek runs through a culvert under the road and trickles into a shallow pool. Early one morning I sit down on the dew-damp earth. Pull out my camera. And wait.
The sun stretches higher.
Shoreline grasses are mirror-perfect on the water’s surface.
Water striders begin to emerge. Tentative, at first. Then bolder. Now, moving like tiny bumper cars. Their ripples run amok, scattering the reflections.
Strands of mermaid hair.
Water striders. Pond skaters. Water skippers.
Their names suggest what they can, in fact, do: walk on water.
Spindly, outstretched legs spread the weight, each foot forming a dimple in the liquid skin.
Surface tension in action.
It’s why feathers float.
And rocks don’t.