Tag Archives: universe

Light Surfing and Chasing the Big Ideas

Picture called Wind Surfying

A picture I did many years ago called “Wind Surfying”.

There’s something that really grabbed me about the most recent review of Dawn at Last. Maybe it’s the part about writing from the heart? Maybe it’s the reflective quality? If you wish, you can read the entire review here on Ionia Martin’s Amazon review of Dawn at Last.

There are some big picture issues that I only lightly touch  in the book – this post is more about these issues than about Dawn at Last.  It’s about the kind of stuff Einstein and others liked to ponder. There is so much more to write about, but not necessarily in fiction.

Light, Camaraderie, Action!

The other night I watched a wonderful NOVA docudrama, How Albert Einstein Discovered e=mc2. It is not just about him. The story covers the lives of a handful of scientists and thinkers over the span of more than a century, so in a way it is one account of the history of the ideas behind the components of the equation: energy, matter and light.

The individual stories are portrayed in an overlapping way, almost blending into each other, though in many cases the characters are completely unknown to each other in the personal sense. Speaking of personal, The individual stories are alive with humanity, including their many sacrifices and their intimate relations . . . muses more than sounding boards?

I also learned of some remarkable women, at least two of whom I’d never heard of before – I’ll leave it for you to discover them by yourself. All in all it is a film full of pleasant surprises.

Tickled In the Light and Other Ideas!

My favorite part, the one that gives me an intellectual tickle of sorts, concerns a discussion between a young Albert Einstein and an unidentified lady friend, while on a stroll. He ponders what it would be like to travel alongside a wave of light . . . light surfing, so to speak! What happens at such a speed? In a way he wonders how one would think of time in such a travel. For example, in the film he asks the young lady whether one could see one’s mirror image in such a condition.

He states that light in our normal condition light reaches our face, then the mirror, and then back to our eyes so that we can see the reflection of the face in the mirror. However, while travelling at the speed of light he contends that the light from his face would never reach the mirror. He asks whether he is then invisible.

Mirror_Mirror

Zoom In and Zoomin’!

This is the place where I begin my own zooming, and for me this is a ton of fun!

First, Einstein liked to think in pictures, which ties in nicely with this mirror scenario. Because of the situation he would not be able to see his mirror image, yet the encased mirror would have its own image, travelling in different light a few feet ahead of him. However, even if he could see it, he would only see the casing and a blank mirror . . . in one sense he has become selfless?

Second, Einstein firmly believed that the speed of light is the fastest speed in the universe. That poses the following dilemma. In his mirror scenario he must have the mirror in his hand and then extend his arm to put the mirror a few feet in front of his face. However, in order to do that his arm must move ahead of him – in fact for this motion to occur the arm must move faster than the speed of light, which according to him is impossible!

Now here’s where things get really interesting. In such a circumstance it seems that he would not be able to see anything at all. I wonder too whether his other four physical senses would be functional. Still, assume that he would be able to think – to use his mind’s eye. Hans Selye did a number of studies concerning sensory deprivation and it seems the mind becomes quite hallucinatory in such a condition. As such, in a way the ego disappears, one loses control of one’s self – again, selfless in a way?

Before Sunny Side Up!

Where am I going with all this? Consider that a selfless man is actively light surfing, time seems non-existent, so he is kind of completely in the moment. Yet his mind is working, playing all kinds of tricks on him. Ideas come. They arrive.

In order for ideas to come – to arrive – they must travel much like that arm holding the mirror must travel. In other words, ideas can move faster than the light.

This relates to something I touched briefly on in Dawn at Last . . . what guides the light? It also relates to that age-old question of what comes first, the chicken or the egg? In either case, first there is the idea!

I will be writing further on this topic of ideas, tying it in more with some of my other writings, but in essay form as well as in story telling. I’ll also be writing more about love . . . if you’ve read Dawn at Last you know I believe in love in a certain way . . . something timeless, yet faster than the speed of light. It’s very real, selfless and enduring . . . somehow the butterflies know this in their own marvelously fearless way!

Light_Surfing

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Stand Pat and go ask Alice

This post is going to be sweet and simple, hopefully in the style of this classy video interview with Alice Munro. I’m not sure if she speaks for every writer. She certainly speaks for me, especially when she talks about the joy of writing, the search for at least a glimpse of something universal, and of the importance of the reader’s experience.

Having said that, I’d just like to thank one reader in particular – Patricia Williams-Forgenie – for a kind book review. She’s such an optimistic person, she’s been through so much, and I admire her almost to the point of envy. She seems to be acutely aware of what a poison cynicism can be, something I battle constantly . . . it’s the opposite of inspiration. She’s all about inspiration.

Now it’s back to daydreams . . . in this one I’m wondering how an interview/ discussion would go between Patricia and Alice . . . why is it that this image of two little girls is the first thing to come to mind?

Who’s Musing Who?

Art, writing, and other musings . . . that’s my bi-line.

When this blog began there was the art, though the writing was always there, hidden from public view. Then came the novel, my biggest and most cherished writing project so far . . . in many ways as satisfying as the art, a pleasure that at one time thought not possible.

For months now, this blog has been skewed towards the promotion on the novel, interspersed with a little about art, and woefully lacking in the musing.

Fascinating and Elusive . . .

What is musing? What is a muse, and is what the right term, given that the muse may be something completely non-physical? It’s a fascinating subject, though it’s one that I’m only now more formally investigating, but not in the sense of a yearning for new knowledge. You see I’ve been close to my muse for a long time, so my knowing is already there, in very personal way. It’s such an intimate experience – a presence at times – and one that is cherished beyond words, but still one tries.

Beyond words . . . perhaps this is why for so long it seemed impossible to use words to find that same satisfaction as in creating art. This I now understand. Someone wrote a really nice blog today about the writer finding that inner voice, and what happens when one writes without it . . . when it becomes superficial. Quite simply, without that muse my inner voice seems weaker, with a sense of loss, and to the point where creating not from the heart becomes a risk.

Searching The Invisible For Common Grounds

It didn’t take long at all – only a few days of research on how history views the muse – to discover how so many others have had similar musing experiences in their creativity. That’s somehow reassuring . . . so many legendary artists and writers, their influences, their loves and relationships, their passions, eccentricities, lusts, questions, controversies, triumphs and heart breaks, and through it all, this mystery of the musing.

Much of the material is about one individual impacting the other – the inspiring returned by the affection – the dynamics between the two. Sometimes the issue goes well beyond the individual, into the realm of the spiritual, perhaps the divine? Questions arise as to where do original ideas come from? Are they really from the muse, or the writer or the artist, or from somewhere unknown? Perhaps unknown, yet truly felt . . . the fuel of genius . . . the gift received, and then the gift created, followed by the need for more. It seems this is the way of musing, always mysterious.

Same Journey, New Curves Along the Path

In the next part of my journey I’m about to write in a different way. I have begun a relationship with a large web site devoted to the issue of what it means to be a good man in today’s world. It features an incredible amount of amazing contributors, and so I am honored, humbled and excited. This kind of writing presents an entirely different challenge than writing a novel or writing here on my blog. Both of those are more personal, kind of like writing for an audience of one, which helps immensely in trying to write from the heart.

In this next project that kind of writing must continue, but differently. If you haven’t noticed, my blog is often kind of like thinking out loud, which helps me to focus on one thing or another. Every now and then it seems to resonate with others, which is really nice. Lately I haven’t done enough of that, not enough writing that will somehow help others . . . you.

That kind of helping seems imperative in writing for this men’s project, and I’ll start by gleaming through this musing material. I’m sure this can help cut through some of the confusion and anguish that seems to be there for so many men. Of course, it’s not just there for the men, but for everyone . . . the same but different. Contributors are encouraged to write in the first person, to tell personal accounts of this and that. I will do so, gently though, and as much as possible with a touch of humour, the non-offensive kind. I don’t always succeed at the ‘non’ part,  so I’m asking this of you, “Wish me luck – the good kind!”

I’ve actually written a first draft of an article. I wrote it awhile ago, but have decided to sit on it. It’s actually pretty funny – yes and no – it has to do with the use of certain toys in long distance relationships. It’s a good article, but not the one I want to lead in with, so perhaps closer to Valentine’s? It certainly doesn’t fit in well with the subject of muses . . . no pun intended. Also, I’d like to write articles that are in a way congruent with Dawn at Last, which is oozing with secrets and mystery and well, you know . . . muses!

The Challenge

So much that is written on this topic is related to gifted artists and creative people. I believe that is unfairly so, that anyone can have a kind of muse-gift in any close relationship. I need to believe this as much as I need to believe that love is the most important aspect of the universe. Illustrating this through my new writing project will be a challenge, which is perhaps just the motivation I need. You will see what I mean when these articles are published, and I’ll be sure to mention them here, on my blog, as soon as that happens.

To give you a feel for what I mean – the gift of the muse in everyday life – here is an excerpt from Dawn at Last. Based on comments from the book’s fans, it is certainly one of the favorite segments of the novel. This is about Pierre, the owner of a French restaurant called Papillons, telling Sunni (a waitress) about the inspiration and origin of the name:

“Okay Sunni . . . the house of butterflies. It’s my home, you see. How can I tell you this? When I was a youngster I had my chores to do, and they varied depending on the time of year. This one summer day it was getting close to supper time and I had to prepare a bunch of vegetables for stew. I had to go to the kitchen sink to get some water and our kitchen window overlooked the yard between the house and the crops. There were little flower beds around the yard. While I was running the water I looked outside and there they were.”

He pauses, and looks as if he’s lost in a dream, though she’s sure it’s a memory, and once again in her impatience she asks, “What did you see, papillons?”

Her words breaks his trance, and he smiles as he looks at her and says, “Yes, that and more. My mother was out there on the right side of yard, tending to some flowers. She was bent over. She was wearing those favourite blue jean shorts of hers and a colourful blouse, an old one she wore mostly for chores. Then I saw my father on the left side, about fifty meters away. He was repairing some kind of tool or something. It was a hot day, so he paused to wipe off his sweat. As he stood up he looked at my mother. At that point she hadn’t noticed him looking. He started to walk quietly toward her, as if to sneak up on her. About half way there she must have heard him, or perhaps it was les papillons floating around her, five of them. I think it was five − they were hard to count.

When my father noticed that my mother had spotted him sneaking up, he started walking a little faster. Then she stood right up and turned to face him, at the same time looking around the yard. She started walking away, slowly at first, not toward him, but toward the house, and smiling. He began to run a little and so did she, giggling now, and it was bit like a touch football game as she zigged and zagged a bit, and then my father slipped on the grass and fell down to the ground. I was startled. It really looked like he was hurt, but he it turned out he was faking an injury to get her to come and help him, and when she did, he pulled her down and they kissed, and for a long time. Then they got up and walked away, hand in hand, somewhere towards the side of the house, where there are lots of trees.”

Then he pauses, and looks closer at Sunni. “And then then these butterflies – when my mother was running they seemed to follow her – like they were playing their own game. They even seemed to follow them to the trees, until I lost sight of them as well. It was really something. In those moments it was all about love, don’t you think? Only playful love and affection. And it seems that’s all the butterflies know − and that’s what I try to do with my restaurant. It’s a safe place for people like you and Andrea and the other young ladies, at least I want it to be, and maybe sometimes love comes out of it, somehow. Is that so wrong?”

The Perfect Gift, If Only For Awhile

One of my favourite aspects about this excerpt is how the couple interact so playfully and with no need for words – in a way they inspire each other – and so this is too is the play of the muse? I hope this gives you a bit of a flavour for the direction I’ll be taking in the project. If I succeed then I will make some people happier, if only for awhile, and hopefully a long while. Maybe some in their busy lives need a reminder, need to stop and look at the love that is still there, but possibly dormant in all the stress and confusion? I plan to provide many reminders – a series on this issue of the muse and musing – of awareness, the selfless kind.

It would be nice to help like that, in some small way . . . it does feel good when it happens, and shouldn’t it? There are those who says that such kindness is somehow self-indulgent and that giving gifts like this is really a selfish act because one gets pleasure in the process. I disagree. If you want to see it as being selfish, go ahead. All I know is that it is perfectly acceptable . . . perhaps the only true definition of perfection. How do I know? Why do I believe this so strongly? The simple is answer – I can sense that the muse approves and I need no more than that.

Thank you for getting to the bottom of such a long post . . . you must be well-grounded by now! As such you deserve a treat, so what could be more fitting than a little music? Enjoy . . .

Who’s Musing Who?

Sunshine on My Mind

WP_Light

Lately a little sunshine has come up in discussions with some really bright people.

Over the last number of years I’ve enjoyed times of solitude where I just reflect on life, mostly the non-human varieties. In the last year or so, since immersing myself in social media, every now and then I get involved in online discussions that relate to this issue of the sun. Sometimes this includes discussions with various scientists.

To be sure, I’m an artist at heart, though I’m also well trained in scientific methodology, statistics and so on, but I don’t pretend to be an ‘expert’ in any of it, don’t need to be. Recently a discussion came up from a scientist who has a blog about the role of artists in kind of “feeding” science. The person actually works in this field, some kind of institute that seeks to combine the two endeavors.

On one hand I can appreciate this, but on the other hand, there is an arrogance behind it that is hard to stomach. It’s the arrogance that all life has a scientific basis. This belief seems to be ingrained in so many people at an alarming rate over the last few decades. As a belief it is very much like a religion. Perhaps not so surprising is the negative reaction that such people have when you point this out, and yet it is so very true.

Many artists tend to look at life differently, to observe and come to know certain things without measurements. Scientists seem to think of this as what, romantic? Dreamy? Idealistic? Whatever term is used, the common one would be “inferior”, at least in terms of comparison to the observing through the use of science. At the unavoidable risk of sounding confrontational, I see it as quite the opposite.

So what does this have to do with the sun?

We’ve all been taught that the sun is very far away, but that’s not really true is it? When you think of its light continually blending in with the planet we live on, and how life here couldn’t exist without it, then you can easily appreciate how inseparable we are from the sun…it’s not just ‘out there’, it’s right here.

Think of the stream of light as an indivisible umbilical chord.

As I mentioned in a previous post, time and gravity are inseparable aspects of life on earth. Now when you combine this with the indivisible aspect of the sun, then you can understand that the earth as a mass, with its time and gravity, are indivisibly connected to the sun.

The problem in physics then is the equation ‘energy = mass x the speed of light squared). This equation involves mass (earth), the sun, and time. It’s not really a valid equation once you accept this indivisibility as I’ve described it.

The reason for that can be shown in a simple question, “How you can multiply something when you can’t really divide it?”

I don’t know what all this means, I just know that I need to say it.

The picture at the top is another one of my unfinished works; it began as a photograph of the door know and keyhole of my storage shed. The link below is on the lighter side, and is a great presentation on the creative thinking process. What I really like about it is that it presented by someone like myself in terms of starting out as someone trained in science.

John Cleese on Creativity

And finally, here is such a wonderful example who in her own way seems to “get it” in terms of light.

Madonna – Ray of Light

An Infinite Universe…How Nice

WP_leaf1d

I’m tired of this endless debate, so many smart people who don’t seem to get it in terms of the simplest truth. The universe is boundless, infinite, end of story.

One thing we all know about walls is that there is always something on the other side. Those who claim that the universe is finite must then claim that the universe has some kind of invisible wall, like a shell of sorts. If so then how thick is the wall, and what’s on the other side?

So either the wall goes on forever or it doesn’t and there is something on the other side…either way it keeps on going…it is infinite, immeasurable.

I’m so tired of any claim else-wise. When you come to understand this boundless aspect, then with  a little thinking you can actually appreciate that in its totality there is a kind a unity. I say this because an infinite universe can neither expand nor contract.

Many people of science get very upset when you can explain this universal truth to them with simple reason, and a little imagination. To these people it seems reputation and the sale of textbooks seem much more important than truth.

Thankfully there are still those who have a passion for truth, and for them it is more important than tradition, more important than egos and more important than reputation, past or present. And thankfully there is no money to made from this simple truth, which speaks volumes when you think about it.

Your comments are welcome, as is freely sharing a little truth…just please don’t ask me what it means! 🙂