Thursday, 17 May 2012

Loving The Questions

Good Morning Dear Friends!

I'm so glad you popped in; please do help yourself to tea and toast (there's even a splodge of Orange and Ginger marmalade if you so desire) and we'll pass a wee while in conversation . . . 

It was while wondering around the Parish Church Gardens photographically represented here  - but sadly, for this morning at least, bathed in a veil of low cloud and drizzle -  and listening to some music-based quantum physics - for such things do exist - that I came up with the idea for today's conversation piece.

I better elaborate: There's a project of which I am very fond and which I have mentioned here before.  It's called The Symphony of Science and is basically a fantastically innovative way of spreading scientific ideas to members of the non-scientific community via music.  Clips from programs and films are taken and edited together to make lyrics and the voices treated with synthesis so that the people appearing in the clips - from Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox to Alice Roberts and Carl Sagan - appear to sing.

Anyhow, there I was, strolling and pondering about life, death and the Universe with Sal Dog (though, to be fair, I think she was more interested in sniffing actually) and listening to a song called Onward To The Edge which is ostensibly about space travel, the chorus of which is:

"Onward to the edge
We're moving onward to the edge
Here we are together;
This fragile little world"

and it occurred to me that, like a lot of the concepts about the universe,  it could be taken as a metaphor for our journey through life here on Earth . . . after all we are all made of the universe, the elements that make up our bodies come from the Big Bang and the particles that make up our bodies are a sort of universe; one might even fantasise that the universe we catch the tiniest glimpse of in the night sky could simply be the particles of some other body! 

The overarching feeling I got from the song though was one that occurs to me a lot; the story of the Universe, how it was formed, how it will die is the same story as the story of our life and death.  As Richard Dawkins says in one of the songs Our Place In The Cosmos:

Matter flows from place to place
And momentarily comes together to be you
Some people find that thought disturbing
I find the reality thrilling

So all this matter and energy comes together and for a short period of time we exist; it then changes and we cease to exist, we die; but as energy cannot be created or destroyed only transformed, we never really die which I too find, thrilling! At the end of Onward To The Edge, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says:

When I reach to the edge of the universe
I do so knowing that along some paths of cosmic discovery
There are times when, at least for now,
One must be content to love the questions themselves

and that is exactly my view of our journey though life; it is the journey itself that is the reward and no matter how many answers you seek maybe sometimes we just have to be content with loving the questions.

I suppose such questions concerning our mortality have been brought even more to the forefront than usual by a series of meetings with the lovely folk at the Me2You Bereavement and Loss Charity this week. It seems that they are keen to work with our organisation and we are truly madly deeply wishing to be involved with the stunning work they do and so a passionate partnership has been formed.  Should you want to find out more about their work or even pass on a few hard-earned pennies you can click on their name and be whisked magically away to their website - please do visit; they are totally self-funded and the work they do is remarkable and so desperately needed.

But look, how remiss of me! I haven't wished you a Happy 17th May! Now why, I hear you ask, would he wish to do that? Well, because today is Norwegian Independence Day and an occasion for much frolicking and fun . . . at least it should be, though with the shadow of the Utøya massacre in July last year and the current trial of the perpetrator hanging over the whole country, it's hard to imagine there will be much celebration.  However, I have been very proud of the people of Norway's attitude; they were intent that life should carry on and that security paranoia be kept to a minimum which, to me, seems very typically Norwegian. I remember when I lived there in the 1980s it was rumoured that the old king Olav Vth could often be found pottering about in the supermarkets and shops in KarlJohansgate, just down the road from the Royal Palace - lovely!

It's also time for me to be about my business and, as a meeting with Sister Cate looms, that business is with cake!  I hope this lot of blather made some kind of sense and that your day is filled with love and swamped with memories of those who have touched and continue to touch your life.

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

1 comment:

  1. lovely blog , i have listened to some of the symphony of science with Stephen Hawking and Brian before its good , science is very interesting stuff :) x