Monday, January 26, 2009

The Flow of the Universe

My mind is filled with the flow of things today. I am making a large scale map of my neighborhood, trying to visualize more concretely how things fit together. Then on a roll of cash register paper I am trying to make a 38 meter long time line of the geological history since the Hadean era. A centimeter equals a million years. Meanwhile, the week's talk of history being made and the start of a shift back toward the light in so many ways. As the snow swirls in subzero temperatures outside, these thoughts gather to hint as the flow of history that leads to right here, right now. It is all a flow of history, a movement, a pulse of rotation and revolution. I have these images flowing through cables, through monitors, through light waves, through my neural networks and my mind processes these inputs like a DVD, fast forwarding without sound, through processes, through actions, all leading to the serendipitous inevitability of now. Flows of time, so closely linked with the motions of the Universe, and perhaps, in almost understandable ways, defined by them. The endless chatter of flows of goods through the economy, which must be beyond my imagination because the unreal is reality and I can't understand why. Why the commendations for free markets neglect the fact that this so-called free market, Hayek-style system is a service-based exchange of good produced largely in Socialist or Communist, psuedo-Keynesian-style regions. Who controls the Commanding Heights? The flow of goods, unrestricted, is always a falsity, and yet goods move. The flow of ideas, the great achievement of this information age has yet to prove its long term value. I go to bed with these troubled thoughts and wake up feeling in a different place in the Universe, a motion that is defined by time, since history flows too, cyclical, like orbits, apogees and perigees between antipodal nodes. Here, at this time of year I always feel these cycles, the slow (too slow) tilt back towards the sun, the creeping rise of the solar zenith and the slow scraping drag of the extending daylight. Return from the aphelion. And yet I look up in the bright, crystal-cold sky and see, we are in a completely different place in the Flow of things. beyond the light-scattering molecules of the thin atmosphere, our vast speed is not evident against the great distances, and yet we move.
All these flows are linked. My mind sometimes perceives it, sometimes can visualize it, though I wish I could picture it better. The flow of time, of orbits, of photon energy, of photosynthesis, of carbon through our bodies, of oxygen through our cells, of electricity through our neurons, of ideas through our culture, of goods through our hands, of money through our economies, of economies through our history, of history through our own world, and of our world through our Universe. Perhaps, the imagination is the best ship for this voyage and on some days I can see it so clearly. I live for those days, I work for those days, and the rest of the time I try to conceive of how to talk about those brief glimpses of the flow of the Universe around me.