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Posts Tagged ‘string theory’

Previously,  I mentioned how interested I had become by the frayed barge cables I was finding tangled up with the willow trees at the Falls of the Ohio.  I really liked watching the process of change as these big synthetic ropes broke down through river power and dissolved back into nature as artificial raw materials.  I have also used these ropes to broach the subject of quantum mechanics (something I profess to really know very little about except that I like the idea of the universe being composed of nearly invisible vibrating strings ).  It’s also about all the interconnectedness of the world and the literal fibers that hold it all together. At the Falls of the Ohio, our material culture engages the natural physical materials and forces of the planet in a way that can be photographed.  Here is a portfolio of some of my favorite rope and string images.

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In the beginning he was so unclear about what had happened.  There was this vague image in his mind of some kind of presence he felt that may have created him?  Even that “fact”  was up for debate.  All he remembers with any kind of certainty was that he couldn’t remember anything at all until the breath of life was blown into him.

What he remembers next is feeling the warmth of the sun on his face.  He tried looking at the sun, but his eyes couldn’t stand the gaze.  Averting his face, he saw a shape on the ground and was surprised when it echoed his own movements like a dance partner.  It was in this moment that he felt his body and became fully aware that he was physical and could move around in space.   He took a minute or two, three, four…to survey his birthplace.

What he saw astonished him!  Positioned in the sand were lots of pieces that looked like the same material he was made from.  It was a bit creepy and confusing for him and his next impulse was to escape.  This decision set him upon the path that would be his life’s adventure.  He walked and walked and everything he saw was new, confusing, and miraculous to him.  There were trees and plants and other life forms that occupied the same space and were delightful to behold. It took a while to absorb and understand some of the things he was encountering.  After a half day’s journey or so, the traveler came to a place different from where he began and after surveying this field…he had an epiphany.

It was a debris field full of all kinds of materials…some of which resembled the pieces he saw before and which constituted his very physical being.  He realized that he was made of the stuff of the world and felt the kinship.  He further intuited that these materials were themselves extracted from what had lived and came before.  Life is built upon life…dust to dust…ashes to ashes…plastic to plastic.  The Traveler moved on.

The Traveler was gaining experience of the world which then led to knowledge of it.  He encountered many other objects and filed them away in his being for future reference.  One such object was this immense cable or rope and our hero recognized that all the individual strands of this rope gave it great strength and unity when they were woven and twisted together.  The sun was at its high point and the day was getting hot.  The Traveler decided to move into the shade of the trees to cool off and discover what he could learn there.  After an hour’s walk or two or three…he came to a large black tunnel leading into the ground and it beckoned to him.

Reflexively, the Traveler overcame any misgivings and entered the tunnel.  It felt cool which he liked and there was blackness which he feared. In the next heartbeat there was an incredible burst of light and he found himself on the other side of the tunnel.  What he saw next was the most perplexing sight of this new and memorable day!

Impaled upon three sticks were three heads that were regarding him with interest.  The Traveler was a confusion of feelings that ranged from horror to outright fascination!  One head was blue and looked like an elephant minus its  ears.   The other two heads were childlike and misshapen.  Within his own mind, the Traveler heard the largest childlike head speak to him and it said, ” Welcome Traveler…we are the Oracle of the Sands of Time.  Together we are the past, present, and future.  All that you were before…you will be again…and more.

The Oracle then spoke in unison and told the Traveler that the Past, Present, and Future simultaneously coexist.  They were appearing to him now to act as a guide to the life that had been given to him.  Naturally, the Traveler was a bit  confused since he was new to paradoxes!  Then the larger head placed an image into the Traveler’s mind and said, “Do you remember that rope you saw today?…imagine a slightly different one more colorful and expanded. Now imagine it’s a model of the universe and everything in it.”

The Traveler then tried to grasp the idea that the universe is made of vibrating strings that phase in and out of time.   Because there are differences in spacetime and your point of view changes depending on how you focus on a moment…the possibility of multiple “you’s” can exist in different dimensions in space and time.  What you were before…you can be again…or not.  Yes, it’s all rather confusing and the Traveler moved away from the Oracle and tried contemplating what he was just told.

What was he supposed to do with this knowledge?  He then remembered the last thing the Oracle told him and it somewhat made sense.  As long as he was fully present and open in each moment of his life…he would be fine.  If he was having a bad day…somewhere in the universe those other “you’s” could be having better or worse days.  In the big scheme of things…it just doesn’t matter.  As the sun was setting in the west, the Traveler was able to face the sun with his shadow confidently following behind him.  He decided that he would keep walking towards the light and treat each day like it was brand new.

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