Month: January 2015

Familiarity Breeds Comptempt

Hubble GalaxyI am blind to the miracles that surround me. Every day, this magnificent star 93 million miles away reveals itself in an explosion of color and warmth. Every day this happens and rarely do I bother to look. Every second an organ beats in my chest. Tireless. Breath fills my lungs and passes molecules into a fluid that traverses miles of tiny tubes picking up and dropping off chemicals. This activity is all directed from somewhere deep in my brain out of my reach. Surrounding this primitive control center is a dense web of cells carrying electrical and chemical signals one to the next. These waves of forces and particles somehow interact to create everything I know; my sense of self, my understanding of the environment around me and what little perception I have of the universe. These interactions are the intangible things that make me human. Emotions. My sixth sense. Things that only exist in my brain yet influence every part of my being. The love I feel for my family, the anxiety I feel facing the unknown, the hatred infiltrating my inner peace seeing injustice; all figments of my imagination existing only as an ebb and flow of tiny forces across tiny cells in a tiny brian on a tiny planet in an infinite universe. In this tiny space I can consider the vastness of space, the concept of time, the meaning of life. I can wonder to myself is the universe really an infinitely large thing outside or an infinitely small thing inside me. These observations stand not only for me, they are repeated at least once for each of my 6 billion fellow beings. The magic extends beyond the 6 billion observers to the trillions of other life forms. How impossible is it for an oak tree to crawl out of an acorn?

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Each Day a New Dawn

New Year’s Eve is about looking back and looking ahead. TV shows, News programs, music stations and web sites looks back over the previous year to identify the best and worst of the year in every possible category. After every combination of top-something lists are complete, attention is turned to predicting the best and worst in the year to come. 365 days and nights of activity around the globe distilled down to top 50 and 100 lists. The lists are made by other people through the lens of their experience. What significance to me are the top 100 search terms or top 50 viral videos. Is Time Magazine’s 50 most interesting people interesting to me? Maybe.

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