Saturday, October 17, 2009


What a delight is a sprinkle of rain on a desert extent. What sweetness in the unexpected shift in humidity, but here you could say shift in altitude, shift in melody, shift in perspective... because the point here is a picture of one's first intimations of a world that before now, existed for one merely in literature. This world existed in literature but the thinness of this plane does not explain how appealing the accounts, how persuasive for some the pictures drawn in the literary accounts of mysticism.
This literature is typically by someone who before was -- parched -- and who,  after having this sprinkle, was changed merely in that he had something new to chat about. And chat they do, bulging library shelf after bulging shelf, on and on with a drier and drier tongue.
These accounts have the appeal of an account of foreign travel, with this exception. Most accounts are by those who never got that this glimpse, was merely a peek through a portal, not a certificate of some accomplishment.  This glimpse could for those thirsty to learn give a clue, but who fits this category.  Who can suspect that what happened to them was not of their own doing.  Who understands this artifact (memory) found out of its setting, means the start of a barefoot trek through a harsh landscape.
Or we could say, for some, but not most, this sprinkling weather event, is a hint that one must invent irrigation.

The convenience of convenience

Jan Cox once said that the reason convenience stores were popular is that they were convenient. I am not suggesting I have figured out what he meant yet, but that thought came to my mind when I watched two people walk toward a small shop of this kind.  And it occurred to me that it was convenient for them, because it did not have a lot of stuff they could not afford. I guess I don't yet really understand what Jan meant, only that he never wasted his words.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Bigger Picture

The url above is to a press release from NASA which talks about the results from a satellite that has returned information about the boundary area between our solar system and the galaxy of we are a part. 
These results allow:

"The first comprehensive sky map of our solar system and its location in the Milky Way galaxy. The new view will change the way researchers view and study the interaction between our galaxy and sun."

The lack of such a map was not part of my mechanical mental furniture, and yet how wonderful to now hear about something like this: I cannot even comprehend the mathematics that are critical here, and surely my grasp of these words could not be adequate to the reality that the scientists are thrilled about.
The only way for me to evaluate my picture of all this is to go beyond my picture of say, the solar system.
And even then, as one lets new pictures percolate, as this article allows, the fun is the fun of the edge, the fun of the new. The fun of the dimly comprehended which is yet plausible.

Perhaps my sentiments here are an example of what older theological systems called: faith.  Not--- hearing about some clumsy puppet figure and saying well that makes no sense but I will try hard to think it's real.

Perhaps faith is --- just what it was once described as
"the evidence of things unseen."

Perhaps the "evidence of things unseen," is this thrill of a border, a border from which things are just glimpsed, but not outlined in great detail (then it would not be a border.)

I can imagine some NASA person reading the above and thinking, nice lady, she reads our press releases and will probably encourage her congressman to vote more money for science.

No, they missed it.  The scientists are in the same boat I am, different edges, but the same boat.