Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Turtles All The Way Down

I first read the phrase "Turtles All the Way Down" in a book by Stephen Hawking. According to the story, a big name scientist was giving a lecture on astronomy. After the lecture, an elderly lady came up and told the scientist that he had it all wrong. 'The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist asked "And what is the turtle standing on?" The lady triumphantly replied: "You're very clever, young man, but it's no use -- it's turtles all the way down."
I've asked several people what they think this story means, and everyone seems to have a slightly different take on it. To me, it is a reminder that most scientific fact is really hypothesis that has not been disproved, and there is always the possibility that maybe the old lady is right. Kind of like a perfect sand castle being whipped up from a sand dune by the wind. There is nothing in the second law of thermodynamics that says order cannot come out of chaos.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Roll The Bones

Loaded up and rode touring bike out to Platina with David Blevins. Bike and gear weighed 50 pounds. The road unwinds toward me, what was there is gone. The road unwinds before me, and I go riding on. It's my turn to drive. Driven. 1996.
Mild, 90 degree weather helped a lot, but still cramped with 10 miles to go. Walked the last monster hill. From first to last, the peak is never past. Something always fires the light that gets in your eyes. Marathon 1985.
Arrived in Platina and lunched on Turkey Sandwiches and Iced Tea around 2 P.M. I let my skin get too thin, I'd like to pause, no matter how I pretend-- like some pilgrim, who learns to transcend, learns to live as if each step was the end. Time Stand Still. 1989.
Rode four miles further out highway 36 West to Basin Gulch Campground. Beautiful deep shade and cool flowing creek. I turn my back to the wind, to catch my breath. Before I start off again, driven on without a moment to spend, to pass an evening with a drink and a friend. Time Stand Still 1987.
Saw Mountain King Snake along the water's edge(Middle Fork Cottonwood Creek) Slept like a baby in my tent with Thermo-rest mattress and space blanket. Play of light-- a photograph, the way I used to be, some half-forgotten stranger, doesn't mean that much to me. Trick of light-- moving picture, moments caught in flight, make the shadows darker or the colors shine too bright. Available Light. 1990.
Made it home from Platina in four hours. Bike was brilliant, 1985 Specialized Expedition. Scars of pleasure, scars of pain. Atmospheric changes make them sensitive again. Scars. 1990.
My partner David was a great companion and inspired conversationalist. Normal and completely predictable little bothers and annoyances occurred out there, but nothing beyond expected. Too many hands on my time, too many feelings. Too many things on my mind. When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find, when I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind. The Analog Kid. 1982.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Seely Today, Hot Tamale*

I awoke in a hospital bed with a staff of nurses and doctors all staring wide eyed at me. "What the hell happened" I grumbled. "Well Son, let me just start by telling you that this is a mental hospital, not a general hospital." One of the older doctors replied.

*The semi-autobiographical account of one Mr. Jim Seely, based loosely on semi-reliable rumors.