There are some who fear the start-up of the Large Hadron Collider –a mammoth atomic particle accelerator– saying it will create black holes that will, with a giant sucking sound, consume the Earth and all we hold dear. A NASA scientist I was listening to last night reassured his audience… sort of. When someone asked when was it that the LHC was supposed to begin operations, he replied, "oh, it has been started. And we're not really here."
Here is a quotation I found in a beautiful essay, "Astronomy Lessons," by Anne Cushman, which appeared in the May 2008 edition of Shambhala Sun. There are so very many levels of meaning to be found in these few lines…
Within light there is darkness,
but do not try to understand that darkness.
Within darkness there is light,
but do not look for that light.
— Zen Chant, "Identity of Relative and Absolute"
On this, a Friday off for me, I see some of the daffodils are now blooming: one white and several yellow. While it is warming (about 70 F degrees) it's windy as all get out, sometimes rainy, and not suitable conditions for macro photography. I'd hoped to post a close-up of a cheery yellow bloom but that's not likely to happen today.
After a brief (and rare) morning nap, I shipped some more packages, then enjoyed lunch watching physicist Machio Kaku's TV program on "Cosmic Time" (part of his BBC "Time" series) I had recorded overnight.
This afternoon, instead of shooting flower photos, I paid my credit card bill (burgeoned by major reimbursable shipping charges), sent off a 2009 budget request to my boss, updated the cycling Web site, and started thinking about registration for an historical observatory conference set for May. Not fun stuff, by and large, but what I did took much self-imposed pressure off and I feel much more relaxed now. Hopefully it will be a quiet weekend suitable for rest and decompression!