Was it a deer or a horse? It did not matter; I had to cut it’s forelegs off just above the hooves with garden loppers. The large animal flopped to the ground and began writhing about with no hooves to stand on. I felt sorry for it, but there was no blood or wound to dress. There was nothing to do but make sure it got food and water. The animal had to work out the rest. I was sure it would manage with a little help from me, some hay and a l0w trough it could belly up to.
The land is clay and dark moist. I stand with a man of about my age taller and thinner, more deeply lined by time, but still fit. We stand looking out on the cold lake in the twilight children shriek and scream, laughing and thrilling in the icy water.
“A drowning child. Lets hope,” he says looking down at the ground. “Seems like good soil.”
“Oh, yes we had a garden most of time up by the house. Nice rich soil.”
We look back up the hill to an immense sprawling modern house with rounded stone walls and glass gleaming grey in the last light, scraggly volunteer trees cropping up darkly around the stilted base obscuring the lower levels.
I am fascinated by the way scientifically minded people approach the world as well as the things they discover and ponder. Krista Tippett asks some very insightful questions which produces a stimulating discussion about what goes on in Lisa Randall’s mind when she is exploring the vast regions of cosmology and physics.
Jim Jarmusch’s movie Dead Man is a blending of surreal scenes, beautifully understated acting, and the haunting music of Neil Young’s solo guitar, and it tells the story of William Blake, an accountant from Ohio, who comes to the edge of the American wilderness and ends up moving through a world that is completely alien to him. Jarmusch does a brilliant job of conveying the feeling of the stranger in a strange land. If you let the story take you, you will flow with it like a river to the sea.
Look at that parking job- I said pointing at an adjacent rooftop where a the back wheels of the tiny indigo car were on the wrong side of the parking barrier, a foot from a 40 foot drop down the side of the crumbling building.
We were working with children on the roof of a building in a crowded aging city. I could see the suburbs sprawling over the hills endlessly. We had put out tubs of cornstarch and water for the children to explore. One child decided to take a swim in it.
The children come and go as they please in this city, learning what they can through the experience of living in a community, seeing, feeling, and hearing what is important and deciding what is right for them.
I am wandering through the warehouse district at the edge of a massive industrial city, down to my last dollar and looking for a likely place to hunker down for the night. As I walk along the corrugated “aluminum wall of shadowy beige in the fading light, I see a knob ensconced in a square recessed box. Without thinking I reach in and turn the knob. I immediately hear a soft mechanical whirring that grows in volume and transforms into the click and clang of larger gears as a line appeared in the middle of the wall and began separating, dividing the wall and moving the sides out revealing gleaming rollers conveying cookies several at a time from a door that slides open every few seconds to reveal another batch of round colorful cookies. Underneath the conveyors and the processing plant behind the sliding door is a conglomeration of shining gears from the almost microscopic to 2 feet in diameter all spinning and whirring and clanking musically.
As I start to move into inspect the apparatus more closely, a man’s head pops out from behind the main container next to the sliding door wearing a look of shock and apprehension.
“How did you get in here?”
“I just turned the knob on the wall outside.”
“Well, you will have to get out!”
“But, this is amazing. Did you do all of this yourself?”
“Well, most of it, I designed almost all of it and built a lot of this. I had some help.”
“The detail is quite marvelous.”
“Yes, and it runs on dark matter energy.”
“What is dark matter energy?”
“I don’t know. I made that part up. But, it sounded impressive, don’t you think?”
“That’s why I couldn’t tell anyone?”
“Yes, it really runs on electricity and spring mechanisms, mostly the gears to move things along.”
“But, it is still quite marvelous nonetheless.”
We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.– Martin Luther King jr
“Bill, just try to remember,” she said, “there is much more stupidity than there is malice in the world,” an observation lavish with possibilities recalling Anatole France finding the fool more dangerous than the rogue because “the rogue does at least take a rest sometimes, the fool never.” – William Gaddis
The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he’ll fight and die for it. The way real science goes is that you come up with lots of ideas, and most of them will be wrong.