Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Most Significant Photo Ever?

So says Anthony Doerr in the current online issue of Orion magazine:

"Whatever we believe in—God, children, nationhood—nothing can be more important than to take a moment every now and then and accept the invitation of the sky: to leave the confines of ourselves and fly off into the hugeness of the universe, to disappear into the inexplicable, the implacable, the reflection of that something our minds cannot grasp."

I can't disagree. Here's the photo:

And here's a link to the piece. Well worth reading. Comments?



At 7/15/2007 2:58 PM, Blogger Algernon said...

The long-time aficionados of the Shareyes experiment.... uh, Tess? Ernest?.... will recall my June 19, 2004, entry about the several most essential things in my life, "night sky".

I completely agree with Mr. Doerr as to the significance of the photograph in question. And I cannot help but marvel, utterly captivated, every time I see the naked night sky, unobstructed by clouds or light pollution. It is, bar none, the most immediate reminder of the majestic immensity of the mind of God that I know.

Well, perhaps the example is indeed tangible in both directions: microcosmically as well as macrocosmically. It has been said that human scale--- that is, the scale of the human physical body--- is about midway, on the Ultimate Scalar measure of the Universe, between the macrocosmos and the microcosmos. We're halfway along that ever-unfolding Mandelbrot Set--- which may well be infinite in both directions.

Gives me the willies.

At 7/16/2007 11:11 PM, Blogger tess said...

>>We're halfway along that ever-unfolding Mandelbrot Set

I didn't know that, but it makes perfect sense somehow, at least experientially. We know there is a heck of a lot of stuff that's a heck of a lot bigger than us, and a heck of a lot of stuff that's a heck of a lot smaller than us.

Every time I go out late on a clear night, I remember moving to this little burg from the big city and thinking, in movie cliché terms, "It's quiet. Too quiet." But I soon found comfort in the endless blazing stars. They're the first thing I look for when I go outside at night, and the constellations that I can identify are like old friends. Connect the dots to make the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Orion's Belt, find the Seven Sisters, and I'm 10 years old again at sixth grade sleepaway camp.


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