Monday, March 31, 2014

A day in the life of a Black Hole

Mix Sweet Shop
12oz Soy Mocha
something yummy with hummus

There's stuff in my brain that I just have to write out of the way...  Maybe it's because I've been getting blasted with x-ray machines all day.

I found myself crying watching Cosmos last night.  I know - crying, again - kinda my thing.  I didn't cry during the episode on evolution - I was happily fascinated.  But last night focused on black holes and relativity and things like that, and that is the stuff I wanted to study in school, way back a million years ago.  I used to have a hard time shelving in the math and science sections while I was working for Borders.  I'd get choked up at the knowledge drifting further and further away...

The light of that knowledge is so distant now, I can't remember if the appropriate geek punchline would be Red Shift or Blue Shift.

In fairness, I had a hard time shelving in the philosophy section, too, but that had more to do with getting the Philosopher's Song from Monty Python stuck in my head.  Though I did want to minor in philosophy in school... and music... ya know, if only I had the time...

I've come to believe "if only" is one of the worst expletives in the English language.

A few weeks ago, the boys and I stopped to watch a young man on the street playing the cello.  Within a block, we heard a young woman singing light opera across the street.  We did not stop.  My smile disappeared and I rerouted the boys to the park instead.  They were both talented young performers, playing and singing beautiful music, and both experiences should have made me smile.

But I've never played a cello.

No matter how much I try to let go of the past and make the best of the here and now, I find myself mourning lives never lived.  I weep over a voice I've all but lost, a body I never had, and a wealth of knowledge that will likely remain as distant as any exploded star.  It's pathetic - it is really pathetic - but I can't seem to let go.

Who knows?  Maybe I'll get it together someday.

I got to see my big brother this weekend.  My fellow Eeyore.  It was a short visit but we had some interesting conversation.  We talked a little philosophy, a little religion, trying to find truth and happiness in this Universe.  We talked about the assertion that you can't pick and choose what you believe.  I came to this distinction...

If you claim that this one doctrine, be it religious of philosophical, is the correct infallible answer, then it would be hypocritical to pick and choose which of the tenants you were going to follow.  If, however, you recognize that there could be truth within fallible human interpretation, then it would be entirely consistent to say, "I will accept what I recognize to be valid in this and I will reject what I consider to be the prejudice inherent in that."

Put another way... "It's not about finding the one true answer, but finding what is true in the many answers..."

One example in the news of late - all this kerfuffle about contraception...  It is understandable why cultures and religions would impose the norm of being married before having sex because of the consequences of conceiving a child before everyone was ready to raise it.  That doesn't make sex sinful.  It makes abandonment and neglect the real sin.  The truth is the body is meant for sex.  It's healthy and good and necessary for physical and mental well-being.  But religions and cultures need to come to terms with the state of the world today. 

We have the medical means of exploding the population now, which means that - for the sake of the survival of the planet and all living beings - we are going to have to curtail our normal rate of reproduction, whether it's before or after marriage.  And - thank the heavens! - we have the knowledge to deal with that, too!  We have condoms and vasectomies and pills (oh, my!).  How blessed are we that we can use our knowledge to care for the sexual health of our bodies and prevent overpopulation from destroying our little planet at the same time?

I picked up a little motivational card while walking around with my brother this weekend.  It had a quote from the Dalai Lama - an earnest truth-seeker if ever there was one.  I don't have it in front of me now, but it said all that good stuff about recognizing how precious and brief is our time of existence.  It said, basically, live while you're alive - try to make it a better life and a better world.  And all that fluffy hippy stuff.  I'll put it up on a wall somewhere and hopefully, given enough bendy, wonky space-time... I'll get the message.

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