What is it about the soap bubble that so fascinates and delights the child? Does he see himself in its shimmering ephemerality? Its wayward flight so like his own thoughts, borne up by the slightest breeze with no purpose but to explore the expansive world out there until all becomes one. The rapid distension of the sphere, so like his own belly never satiated. Its spectacular end, unpredictable but glorious.
The child’s mind, a bubble eagerly growing, absorbing the breath of truth from the parent’s lips. No discernment of the wind’s quality, but puff too hard and interrupt the surface tension that holds the mind in airy limits. Questions blow with the buoyancy of a fragile circle: what makes it go and why can it never be fully grasped? The soundness of the mind, round and carefree with no edges like the bubble listing at the parent’s whim, is an object easily popped and too perfect to last.
No less body than brain, to grow, reform, contract, betray its substance and alight afresh from fleeting, endless cycles of time. Each resurgence full of potential, yet so much the fluid of life from which it emerges. The bubble: a mystery to the child as the child is mystery to himself. The parent’s mastery, of bubbles and child alike, is mystery too, as transient as the substances to which it gives life, as inconstant as the breaths and the breather.