008. Spaces & Times


Inside this mind-blowing space-time continuum, any kind of conclusive take on reality seems somehow false/unreal. The truest thing I know to do is to pay attention to specific spaces and times–small enough to name and remember, precise enough to mark me well. I’ve learned not to attempt to stall the floodrush of time, not to attempt to own anything; but I do know how to lift my head up sometimes and say, “how beautiful.”


Time: The first week of spring, 2014 (all we have left of winter are a few pungent souvenirs)Sam brought me back a pinecone from Tahoe–it’s fresh and gluey and smells like chill and open spaces. Everyone has their criteria for friendship, but in my world, bearers of pinecones are usually good ones. An interesting fact I learned yesterday is that pinecones have adapted to forest fires, such that the seeds persist even when the wood and resin have been consumed by flames. A no-less-true fact is that we’ve adapted to heartbreak such that hope persists even after we’ve been demolished by non-love. We come from and we bear the traits of this ever resilient universe.


Space: BookBuyers, Castro Street, MVLast night, kneeling on the floor between two strangely-stocked shelves, we couldn’t stop being delighted by the book titles: How to Win a Nobel PrizeComing of Age in the Milky Way! One book we found was a medley of science fiction + “actual” science + astrophotography, creatively dubbed The Universe, and we carried it around the store until we left, because the chance to hold the universe in our hands was such a rarity–something to cherish while it lasted.


The observable universe is approximately 46 billion light years in radius, and it’s still accelerating outwards. Less than 5 percent of the universe is composed of things we can actually name and try to understand: atoms, stars, galaxies. The rest of the universe’s makeup we’ve designated dark matter and dark energy–as everything we can’t understand seems to us dark, perilous and inscrutable. In a way, that’s what trying to learn another person is like. I think most human beings are less than 5 percent knowable, our remainders destined to remain undiscoverable dark matter, ever-broadening riddles.

But that 5 percent (the observable you) can be so beautiful.


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