‘”All right,” said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.’ - Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Be careful what you wish for, 52ers. I give you license to write about the unseen. But read on, McDuff. I don’t mean God, Time, the ghost in the upstairs bedroom or anything so purely abstract.
I mean those physical things that we know to exist – but which we can’t see with the naked eye. Under this heading would come WH Auden’s microbes; the fish that you know must be in the local canal; the bicycle ditto; or a group of people with whom you feel kinship though you haven’t met them – fellow joggers, for instance. The rivers that run underneath our cities. The cities that lie beneath our fields. The ever more distant boundary of the universe or, somewhere spinning within it, the Voyager satellite with its cargo of recorded sound.
Consider the unseen neighbour eating Weetabix (or worshipping Satan) as you eat your boiled egg on the other side of the wall. The bats rustling in the roof space; your wife singing to herself in the room next door; the bones of buried pets in your former garden. The doctor receiving your blood sample. The skylark, singing too high to spot. Or, indeed, wild goats roaming unseen in nearby hills. If you know it exists, but you can’t see it, then it’s a possible subject. The things you can’t see are often more interesting than the things you can.
It’s perfectly simple. All you have to do is, pick a thing you can’t see and look at it very closely. Then show us what it looks like.