I feel like I ought to be living in Texas again for everything, they say, is bigger in Texas, and you don’t argue with a Texan.
So much in my life is bigger now, a computer monitor that would pass for a moderate sized TV, with font so large a single page fills the screen, and the tablet the size of, but thank God not the weight of, a phone book, (if you are under 30, look it up), to read books and news since libraries don’t carry large print books (look that up too, probably) at least not books of poetry.
But thanks to modern materials science the lenses in my glasses don’t yet look like Mr. Magoo’s (yup, one more thing to look up,) at least not yet.
I’ve been trying to discover how it is that those inside the beltway elected to office, or working for those who were elected, have all sense of irony (and in some cases. civility) erased.
How else to explain that for many there can be no climate change while the nation they serve is bearing its cost, climatologically and in discourse and diversity, and still they won’t see that baked Alaska is no longer just a dessert at a Party or PAC dinner.
Or to be blind to the fact that their parents or grandparents once stared up at the Lady in the Harbor, that they were the tired and the poor yearning for the freedom they would now so easily deny others, that they and theirs were the invading mob, nonetheless welcomed in the promise of an ever greater land.
Perhaps it is best I never learn for in this world a finely honed sense of irony may be our last, best hope for salvaging our sanity.
Do those, who imagine themselves leaders, or smarter and better than the rest of us, and who deny science, (no, the amassing of money is not a law of physics) plan to take up swimming?
Or will they wait until the bears are at their door, their white coats grayed by the last belches of soggy coal, and then bemoan the fact that their yachts have floated off on the rising seas that now lap at their once beach view feet.
It’s no matter to most of the people of the world who starved to death or died of disease years ago.
God is fixed in the firmament seen as puppet master by some patrician uncle, small child endlessly shifting blocks in new, transitory universes. All things recede from a point, have since the creation and that point, dimensionless is God, vast and infinite. It swings lazily, back, forth a needle in its cusp tracing lines in the bed of sand in constant motion as we and earth, and all of our universe spin slowly around its focus, it swings lazily back, forth, tracing an ever-shifting path marked in displaced sand ponderous from its fine steel tendril which rises to a point without size, shape, or time, frozen a singularity from which all else emanates. God lives, bat-like on the ceiling of the San Francisco Science Museum and the Hayden Planetarium and countless other buildings given to science, omnipresent yet fixed dimensionless and infinite always a ladder’s climb just out of reach.
As a child I would often stare up into the night sky. The stars, the planets, at least the two I knew I could see. My parents didn’t think my behavior odd, they assumed I wanted to be a scientist and explore the universe. I let them believe this. It was far easier than explaining that the alternative was to sit in the living room with them and listen to them bicker about something so minor that happened that day, with no escape from their earthly prison.
It was the other evening, the first of two this month, they say. This only happens once in a blue moon or a couple times every two or three years and often twice in the same year. So once in a blue moon isn’t that long but she said she could feel its pull, everything threatening to topple over and she moved very cautiously. I have to admit I didn’t feel very much, but I come from the people for who the lunar cycle is the norm, so the moon really proceeds as it should, it’s face having little to do with my time or tide. The moon will be full again later this month and I will pay careful attention to what I’m certain I will not feel then.
In the elemental scheme of things we humans are, at best, middling. We are minute in the scale of the universe, our time not even a glimmer, and as we age, time contracts, but only in the shortening forward direction. But pity the poor hydrogen-7 isotope whose life is likely over in 30 yactoseconds, absorbing the laughter of helium-5 living on average, 33 times longer, and both jealously, if ever so quickly regarding our seemingly infinite span. But lest we get complacent, there is always zirconium-96 for whom our life is but the blink of an eye, barely worth noting, a second at most in a span that could reach twenty quintillion years, so we are nothing special, save in our own eyes.
He had always wanted to be a scientist. He wasn’t particularly good at math, biology or any of the other sciences, but dreaming didn’t require that sort of aptitude. He imagined he was part of a great scientific breakthrough, something that would change man’s understanding of the universe and life itself. He knew such discoveries were few and far between, but they did happen, so he had a shot. Then, reading some science magazine he discovered his quest. He would find the God particle. He wasn’t sure what that was, but he knew it shouldn’t take a great mind and a magnifying glass to find a particle that looked somewhat like him.
We sit and discuss complex viscosity values and loss tangent ranges throwing in relaxation modulus for good measure, but we end up at ratios, slicing the data ever thinner, until I fog over and remember that today is the first day of summer, and the birds, bathing in the sun play like children finally freed from their winter bondage.