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Posts Tagged ‘Personal’


All credit for the title goes to Billy Joel, for his wry-grin lyric in Only The Good Die Young:

And they say there’s a Heaven,
For those who will wait.
Some say it’s better,
But I say it ain’t!
I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.
‘Cause sinners are much more fun
Only the good die young

mark twain on heaven and hell

The song is brimming with colorful phrases about suppression of nature for the sake of christolic dogma (and, certainly, Church control of it’s adherents’ souls) . . .

Well they showed you a statue, told you to pray
Built you a temple and locked you away . . .

That stained glass curtain you’re hiding behind
Never lets in the sun . . .

You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation
You’ve got a brand new soul
And a cross of gold . . .

But this isn’t about a classic rock song. The song, however, is an irrepressible nod to religious metaphor, if not a tad more direct than the following example. It is a perfect lead-in to a recent epiphany I had.

In his book The Historical Jesus, John Dominic Crossan, in one chapter, gives us the definition for the word “Kingdom” as supported by various attestations—— that is, by its appearance in different locations within biblical scripture, both canonical and non-canonical.

In the following passage, he discusses, from the Gospel of Thomas (a non-canonical text; gee, I wonder why) when the disciples ask Yeshua about entering the kingdom as children; Yeshua asks them, essentially, not to look forward but rather to look back.

When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside, and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below . . . and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female . . . then you will enter the kingdom.

He is—-in this Gospel excluded by the Church—asking the disciples to think about looking back to the past, past Eden, before Adam and Eve sinned (according to Genesis, which I won’t belabor here). He asks them to consider an even more primordial moment before the male and female—-animas and animus—-were split into two beings.

Note the use of the more historically accurate name of Yeshua instead of Jesus; if we are mindful of such a seemingly small change it helps to provide a more distinct delineation between the carefully groomed ‘Jesus’ and the actual historical figure he was, Yeshua.

By asking his closest followers to take a mental leap backwards he is challenging them to consider a more ephemeral cosmological approach as opposed to the utterly human desire to know of the future, of revelation . . . as the Greeks termed it, apokálypsis.

Taking the cue from the primordial example, if you allow yourself to do what countless cultures have done throughout human history you may be able to conceive of a ‘first entity” if you will, a spirit or essence which is considered not yet neither male nor female as we consider the genders of biological life—-the two as one.

Yeshua posed the further challenge to the disciples, to look at a “child” as something that wasn’t male or female but rather as an androgynous Adam (a ‘first entity’)—-an image of its creator, being neither male nor female.

Baptismal regeneration involved the destruction of duality of that between the inner soul and the outer body. between the heavenly, androgynous image of God and its earthly bifurcated counterpart.

These things help to clarify why the child is the perfect Christian metaphor for those entering the kingdom.

The child is considered asexual or pre-sexual or nonsexual in any operational manner and is therefore an appropriate image for the ideal Christian, the Christian who is, in other words, an ascetic celibate. A Kingdom of children is a kingdom of the celibate.

So, what was my epiphany, you ask?

This is why the saints cry.

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Image

 

The following text is from the body of a letter I sent to my son while in basic training for the Navy. I had been listening to my iPod and an old song titled American Heartbeat played. Something told me to sit down and write about what that meant to me, and it seemed relevant to what he is working for in his naval training. 

transparent div line 

We are not ancient Persia, nor Greece, nor Rome. We are many things: strong and weak, hustling and slack, demonstrative and passive. We are the siphon of human history. 

We have an empire, of sorts, but are not imperialistic. We are decidedly imperfect yet most often choose to pursue what is right rather than not. Say what you will about our character but our collective loyalty is ardent, durable and mighty.

Every civilization in recorded history has struggled with profound scars, has deliberated how best to cope with their weeping wounds in the context of their own times—Madame Blue, she is no exception. Grievous are her transgressions, yet she prefers not to turn her back on them. Her exertions are toward nobility, toward the minimizing of ignobility. 

When we call for help we answer it ourselves. We prefer action over whimpering. Earth rests beneath our feet yet we don’t just think about going to the stars . . .we innovate and then go there. We also sleep beneath the sparkle of heaven making it the province of our dreams.

We are fasces—as many individual reeds we are vulnerable, feeble, hesitant; bound together we are robust, tenacious, enduring.

Our pulse is fast and loud but if we are still for a moment, and truly listen across the chasms and erosion of volubility, we would find one voice, one nation, one majestic heartbeat.

 

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Yeah, that’s right . . . three of the most enigmatic people I know. I’m still trying to suss out bits of information from them.

Today, however, you, the reader get to have a look at an interview I did with myself. I know, it sounds a bit kooky, but it was kinda fun . . . once I knew what the questions were.

Have a look here at the blog of Broken Teepee.

Have a good weekend everyone and hopefully you’ll join me again next week for the lasst week of my tour.

J.W. Nicklaus

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Anyone who has read my blog for a while knows of my feelings about the fairer sex, about the ethereal magic they can cast around us like a veil of early morning fog, about the sublime notion of capturing lightining in a bottle, the sole genie that embodies all three wishes.

Painting is not one of my favorite tasks but with my iPod in my pocket it makes things much more bearable—until just the right song or two randomly get sent to my headphones. Two songs that rarely ever fail to make me pause, to transport me, if only for a few minutes, into a state of heart that at once tugs and takes you by the hand. “Come with me,” they say, “it’ll only be a few minutes.” And so I go, slipping into the softest spot my heart holds.

Brad Paisley’s Waitin’ On A Woman is one of them. A little tongue-in-cheek, but underneath lays a golden kernel of truth, one which speaks to the silken alchemy and inner divination women possess. This one smiles and beckons, then squeezes tight toward the end. If you know the song then I’m sure you can understand the sentiment.

Buy Me A Rose by Kenny Rogers has long had its way with romantic nature. This one always reminds me that gold may glitter but nothing that glitters is near as precious as that which we can’t see.

Two simple songs . . . two more insufficient attempt to convey one of man’s greatest puzzles.

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To be equal to, not greater than.

This is an idea contrary to our very nature. A man, when seated next to his dog, is not equal to the dog (although solid arguments can be made as proof of that concept).

Man with dogs on benchMan and dog have different natures; the ‘nature’ of something, that which makes it what it is, is held to account by laws insurmountable by man. Men (and women) and dogs — and cats and trees and birds and flowers and the rocks themselves — have different natures. Place a labrador next to a chihuahua and while the breed is different they share the same nature. Same with male and female.

That having been said, a chihuahua is by far the more comical canine. In that regard it has no equal.

Man, when seated next to his dog is superior to his canine friend. That is part of Nature’s law.

But let’s return to the man and woman.

Why should any man want to be superior to a woman when both share the same nature? Is there not a stronger balance and a more resonant harmony when one is equal to, not greater than, the other?

I’m not stupid enough to think we don’t have differences and disagreements, that we don’t come from widely disparate backgrounds and environments. These things are cause for friction, to be sure, but they are equal to both natures.

Indeed, we have different levels of intelligence and tolerance, different ideas about money and politics, about laughter and passion. Money and politics appeal to our material and corrupt natures. Laughter is a great purger, a perfect means to cleanse the soul of cancerous darkness; passion, in all its exuberant forms, gives our ambitions and higher selves wings and air currents to loft us closer to the touch of God.

I ask again: what elevates one above another?

I make no secret of my disdain for stupid people. Don’t deride me because the fact is I’m right and each of us knows it — stupid people are not figments of our lesser imaginations, they truly exist. A sad misstep in man’s nature to be sure. Perhaps in this regard alone would I consider myself superior to another.

I don’t mean “stupid” because someone doesn’t know what I know. That concept alone can most always make for wholesale improvements on both sides of the fence. We all know the kind of knuckle dragging, mouth breathing brand of idiocy I’m alluding to. [Congress, anyone?]

Notice the important distinction — not empirical but to-the-bone, flat out stupid.

Yeah, I’m better than that person.

I am not, however, perfect. I make no claim to that effect.

I am far more susceptible to the haunts of my demons than to the embrace of my angels. James Madison once wrote that there are no angels among the ranks of men, for if there were we would have no need for government. I petition for the intercession of my angels all the time. Why? Because I am human.

Angels are not to be confused with stupid people (or Congress). Angels are far better equipped to forgive morons. That makes them truly blessed.

Thayer Angel

I shall never be equal to — nor greater than — angels, certainly not while I still draw breath.

I shall forever be imperfect — for that is my nature.

I shall always seek and hope for the best in my equal. Surely she will be an angel.

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Lots of people make geneology a hobby. Some have long-lived family members who can tell stories of familial ancestors and to some extent fill in gaps where documentation is scant.

Our family isn’t much like that. I think we accept life for what it is and live the best we can in the here and now—sometimes that’s really all any of us can do.

But to satisfy a passing curiosity I looked up what my last name meant (and to see what history I could find in it), as well as what my first name meant. The results were intriguing.

Nicklaus apparently means “Victory of the people.” While I’m not sure how many other names share this meaning I choose to embrace as a moniker of wholly American virtue, at least in the context of our nation’s birth.

My first name apparently means “God’s peace.” No pressure there, right?

If you’d like to know more about me (moreso than simply my name) then pay a visit to my spiffed up website avomnia.com. The About Me page is new and different from the ‘about me’ on this blog.

What does your name mean?

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Rotating Earth gifWow moments . . . Most of us get to experience them at some point, whether through some form of service, personal epiphany, or, as in my case, interacting with a favorite author. These wow moments are launched from one extraordinary foundation: inspiration.

This post is (inasmuch as words can be) a blood relative of the post I did just prior to this one, The Breath Of Morning. Give it a quick read if you haven’t already, then come back. I’ll wait.

Last night I sent the following e-mail to an author I have great respect for, and whose books I have thoroughly enjoyed and learned from. I had not the least expectation nor passing thought that I may get a response, much less only an hour later.

I have been tuning in to NASA TV every now and again to see what’s happening on the International Space Station. Today I was treated to something that stunned me. Something of such profound beauty it was practically spiritual.

As I watched it I thought of all the mind expanding things I have learned through your books, of all the places you have been as you have sifted through the history of mankind and the very elements themselves. You have studied the aftermath of matter spewed into our realm from deep within the earth, parsed through the physics of modern day barbarism even at the cost of your own emotions, and traveled to depths below our oceans where the pressure is such that styrofoam cups are compressed to fractions of their original size. You’ve yet to go to space . . . yet.

I watched perhaps only twenty seconds of live footage of the ISS as she floated over 200 miles above the Earth, somewhere over the Middle East. Our home was slowly rotating beneath it. I was struck by the visible speed of its rotation—the ISS is not in geo-synchronous orbit, of course, and the Earth’s movement was, to the eye, slow . . . but there was an indescribable magic to witnessing your home from afar. We are so intricately aware of our terrestrial place that seeing it from a different perspective holds the same kind of wonder and awe as one’s first kiss—heady, profound, and though you are fully aware of its presence, utterly magical.

The dumbest of observations floated to my head as I stared at the orbital scene: Judging by the visual speed of the planet’s rotation it seems that 24 hours passes far quicker than we believe it to.

If only all mankind were able to watch the kind of scene I watched today, perhaps splayed upon an IMAX screen in airports, rail terminals, and government buildings, just maybe we could begin to see how important it is that we find some way to unite. You can’t convince me that as a species humans will ever find a way to love one another respectfully—but we are all we have, as far as we know.

Humbly,
J.W. Nicklaus

Just under an hour later his reply hit my inbox.

Not been into space yet? Actually, lay on your back in a dark clear place at night and you can see immediately that we are already in space. There is no more fantastic place in space to be than on a planet with a life-sustaining atmosphere – watching an electronic civilization entering a terrifying adolescence.

Jupiter is easy to find tonight, near Venus – and there: Europa and Ganymede, each, almost to a certainty, with hydrothermal life in icebound seas.

I had written “Spinning Blue” in the subject line of the e-mail. Yet, in its own microcosmal way, I know for certain a singular denizen of that gorgeous planet had, thanks to the author, his own personal ‘wow’ moment.

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Morning windows are slowly set aglow from the east when the sun’s first sliver slips above the horizon. Lie in bed and watch the seeping light shift from the cool, pallid hush of the dawn sky, to the earthy warm glow of a candle flame, and finally to the amber froth of sunrise.

We unlikely denizens of the third planet from the sun begin our mornings as we are accustomed: we pump water from deep within the earth for our coffee and showers, we might turn on the television and listen to the news as we get ready, and ride the bus or drive through never ending streams of radio, light, and microwave transmissions on our way to work, to take children to school, or run errands.

Every once in a while it helps to gain a little perspective on where we truly stand, to snatch a glimpse of our true place among the stars.

The International Space StationThis morning I happened upon an article that mentioned live streaming video of the earth from the International Space Station. So I trotted over to NASA.gov and poked around for a few minutes. Eventually I landed at NASA TV. This is the streaming video (in HD, I believe) which shows all the goings-on at our national space organization. I must have hit the programming at the right time because they were showing live video of ISS astronauts performing experiments in the space station. I could listen to the communication between Earth and the station and see the control center in Houston as it was happening.

I’ll admit, it wasn’t exactly edge-of-your-seat kind of stuff, but it was interesting. Soon enough they showed the huge screen in the center of the control room that displays the station’s parabolic flight path as it orbits around us, around our home—the only home we have ever known, and will ever know for generations yet. At the moment I was watching the station was just over the south Pacific, traveling from southwest to northeast.

Then they cut to a live shot from the space station to earth below, a shot directly above the south Pacific ocean, with its cotton candy clouds just barely kissed by the first rays of dawns early light.

What. A. Phenomenal. Sight.

I had some errands to do, so a few minutes later I stepped outside and looked up at the sky, this morning a mottled vista of gray-white clouds and large patches of baby blue. A breeze blew gently as I walked around my truck to get in the driver’s seat. And I couldn’t help but be struck . . .

Soemwhere up there, beyond the scattering of light we interpret as the sky, up in the almost absolute zero degrees of space are a handful of scientists working together to make sense of the evasive secrets of physics. And here is something interesting: Every astronaut aboard the ISS is required to perform vigorous exercise 2 hours a day; how many earth-bound people do you know who can’t, won’t, or whine about finding 30 minutes, three times a week to exercise? If these astronauts don’t do 2 hours a day they risk a wealth of unpleasantness when they return to earth’s gravity.
NASA TV logo

If you get a chance, do check out NASA TV. See if they’re showing experiments from the space station. And if you’re fortunate you’ll get to see the breath of morning as seen from space . . . where one can really get a full measure of our place amongst the stars.

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I received an e-mail from my brother today. He had been going through some old photos (actual photos!) and scanning them. He came across a few which were taken when my son was two-years-old. So naturally I thought “Why not show him off.”

The soon-to-be-legendary eyes

Everyone, certainly when he was this age, and even to this day, comments on his eyes: the OB/GYN declared he would be a “lady killer”; complete strangers have gawked at his peepers; waitresses will still look at him and become almost effusive—”You have the most beautiful eyes” they’ll coo.

15 years later and he's in the same position now

 
 
 
 
 
 
As most kids like to do, he seemed to especially enjoy sitting behind the wheel, didn’t matter what car. Now he does it for real. Where the hell did 15+ years go?

The impetus for this quick post wasn’t to show off old pictures as much as to share, perhaps, what struck me as the blossoming of the Christmas spirit from its most ephemeral to its most humanly tangible. Christmas, as we know and celebrate it (in its often ugliest capitalist form) is a uniquely American holiday. The real joy for we adults, I dare say, is watching the unfettered delight and bacchanalistic rapture of children as they steep themselves in all the trappings of an American Christmas morning (or Christmas Eve, for those who celebrate it the night before).

That very spirit gets captured in a frozen moment in countless photos taken by family. The two below are no exception:

All the well wishes exchanged during the holiday season can’t come close to touching us like the elation and unbridled joy, or the heartfelt smiles fixed upon the tiny faces of our children . . . and forever in our hearts.

Merry Christmas everyone, and my best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year!

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Knowledge Is PowerIn the service of fairness I provide the following heads-up: this post isn’t necessarily light and breezy, nor is it somber or discouraging. If you read further you will encounter a few snippets of things I have read recently and what I feel are, perhaps, the natural questions which arise from them. If you are not in the mood for something to feed your brain then by all means move along; no offense meant, and certainly none intended.

But, really, I consider this kind of stuff to be akin to mental peanut butter—it sticks to your brain and takes a bit of not entirely unpleasant work to fully unseat the matter at hand. If nothing else you might come away with a sense of awe, or maybe just a little conversation piece for later.

If you’re still here . . . thanks for sticking around :^)

Those who know me well enough understand that I have a quiet sort of curiosity, which, like a ceaselessly crying baby bird, constantly clamors to be fed. This doesn’t make me special or unique—it is but one facet of what makes me, well, me. To illustrate this I can tell you that when I do watch television it will most often be something like Discovery Channel, History Channel, or the Science Channel.

If I want to learn about the seedier side of human nature I’ll watch the local evening news for about ten minutes. Then I’m good for the next decade. Seriously. Try to convince me that local newscasts aren’t a downer . . . and good luck doing so.

Anyway, back to me!

Over the last couple years I have enjoyed offerings from The Teaching Company (The Great Courses); eleven of them thus far covering histroy (DUH!), meteorology, black holes, the brain, espionage, mythology, comparative religion, even basic structural engineering. I mention this because while browsing through another set of courses on sale I came across one titled The Joy Of Science (60 lectures—WOW!). While my wallet put an emphatic kibosh on ordering it, I did find the postulation at the end of the course summary intriguiing:

“Dr. Hazen also raises questions about claims that science is approaching its end—that all there is of significance to be learned about the natural world will soon be known.”

What . . . seriously?

The Holy Catholic Church knows better. Hell, they even tried to hide science in the basement like some sick, ethically impoverished parent. Okay, before someone gets offended understand that I’m talking back in the 17th century, people. The name Galileo might ring a bell.

Point being, man is far too curious to ever run out of things to explore, much too needful of knowledge. Once that has been achieved then he moves on to expression of that knowledge through such means as writing, art, or music. People of antiquity couldn’t quite understand their surroundings and events so they took to fanciful storytelling—myths, parables, fairy tales.

The First Doubter, Perhaps Also The First Scientist

At some point someone decided they’d had enough of all the hocus pocus and determined that a much closer inspection of what was behind the curtain was in order. We know the sky isn’t blue because Zeus (or God) colored it that way; it’s blue because of the way shorter wavelengths gets dispersed in the atmosphere, they are absorbed by gas and thus scattered. Longer wavelengths, like red, orange, and yellow pass straight through the atmosphere because they are largely unaffected by gas molecules . . . until the sun’s light is further down on the horizon, at which point those longer wavelengths are detected more readily by our eyes as they are bounced off particulate matter in the air, and we see a sunset.

See? The rational explanation does nothing to diminish the beauty of either and, frankly, just seems to make a whole lot more sense. Easy for me to say in the 21st century, of course.

Since I mentioned broad daylight and sunset I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on nighttime. We definitively state the night as being “dark,” right? But the explanation is a little deeper than that . . . sort of. First you must understand that all objects emit radiation. Some reflect more than they absorb, and vice versa. During the day the Earth reflects much more visible radiation—the longer wavelengths—so we can see; certainly, the Earth absorbs radiation, more than it reflects, actually. But at night, since the Earth produces negligible amounts of radiation at visible and ultraviolet wavelengths, we can’t see.

And you thought it was because we weren’t facing the sun.

The Universe As Death And Life

As of this writing I am currently (slowly) reading Charles Pellegrino’s Ghosts of Vesuvius. Though controversial, I was completely awed by Last Train From Hiroshima, and when GOV was suggested to me I knew I was in for an equal treat. Pellegrino has a deftly masterful way of taking the ponderously scientific and making it accessible to the reader. His writing, in both the aforementioned books, vaporizes any fallacy that science is approaching its end game.

On page 6 of Ghosts of Vesuvius he discusses how life may have been given a chance to take hold at the most profound depths of the oceans, around volcanic vents:

I know of a world in which water emerges four times hotter than steam, but the overlying miles of ocean press down with so much force as to forbid the water to boil, though it emerges hot enough to glow.

Ever drawn your hand away from a rush of steam, like from cooked food? Then you know how hot steam can be. Now reread the above quote again.

Tell me that doesn’t stoke your imagination.

And at the end of that first chapter he makes mention of noted cosmologist Carl Sagan, who “once tried to convey time’s vastness by compressing the entire history since the Big Bang (approximately 13.7 billion years) into a single year—with Earth forming between August 15 and September 10, dinosaurs arriving just ahead of Christmas Eve, and human civilization occupying the last few seconds of December 31. By Sagan’s measure,” he writes, “we have just entered the New Year, equipped with brains and seeking to understand how we were born.”

We don’t just think about the micro-world, we are intensely curious about what lies on the other side of our atmosphere. The cycle, in an odd yet sensible way, becomes a bit less vague, perhaps a touch better understood, when you consider that the macro and micro are what brought us here. We are cosmic dust. We exist because of what came from out there.

Does that sound like science is getting ready to wrap everything up and go home for eternity? I don’t think so.

As the title suggests the book deals with volcanism and its dual role as destroyer and preserver. Matter consumed by fire becomes carbonized, thus entirely destroyed yet also preserved because it no longer is susceptible to decay. This is the case with those unfortunates who lived in Pompeii and Herculaneum. Pellegrino provides exquisite (if not horrific) examples of what transpired as Pompeei’s inhabitants attempted to escape the volcanic onslaught of Vesuvius:

At the boatyard of Herculaneum, a man on horseback was vaporized to the bone in less than two-tenths of a second. Before the nerves could even begin to transmit pain, they had ceased to exist; and as he and the horse fell, the volume of water released from their tongues and their eyes and their internal organs flashed jets of vapor into the air—where, being immeasurably cooler than the surrounding atmosphere, the jets caused the ash to condense, to crystallize instantly into clumps of fluff—adding a strange, mineral snowfall to the terrestrial din. Their tongues were charcoal and their blood had become lava snow before their bones could fall to the ground.

Not only does man want to understand volcanoes and almost everything about nature iteself, we want to understand how nature affects us. In this case, nature not only killed but preserved, both horseman and horse, if only in skeletal form, their bones left for the archeological record.

Stepping Back To See The Bigger Picture

Dr. Pellegrino takes us for a ride along a historical timeline . . . but backwards. In doing so he brings a different, very intriguing perspective to the history of Time as we know it, not just the history of homo sapiens. He begins the journey in “A.D. 1996” (Ghosts of Vesuvius was published in 2004). He uses population numbers and the construct of a human cube as a framework for imagining the sum total of humanity on Earth at a given point in time.

In this year there are nearly 100 million fewer of us than shall exist just a year later (1997), yet the mass of human flesh upon the planet weighs in at just 450 million tons. Squeezed head to head, shoulder to shoulder, we humans would form a cube barely more than a mile on a side, barely more than four times the height of the Empire State Building or the Twin Towers. And if one were to shove that cube off the edge of the continent and into the Atlantic, it would fail to raise the height of the world’s oceans by the width of a human eyelash.

Now, again, I would argue that if science (and man) were interested in strictly numbers we would stop at the population figure. But we don’t. Many nations undertake a census to understand their demographic makeup, and from that we work to understand where our populations are coming from and going to . . . then ask why, and begin a whole other course of investigation. That would be social science, every bit as inquisitive as biology, medicine, astro-physics, etc.

An interesting historical aside: This is something I did not know, something I am a bit ashamed to say given my reading and study of late 18th and early 19th century America, especially the Revolutionary War period. Pellegrino writes about the names of streets in Manhattan when the town was practically just a village. One of the streets he mentions is Cherry Street—one particular address being Number 3, Cherry Street. I did some quick research and discovered this particular location had a mansion on it which was leased by the Continental Congress in 1785 to serve as the residence for the presidents of Congress. In 1789 George Washington moved in as he began his run as our first President of the United States. Pellegrino writes “George Washington had spent a presidency at Number 3 Cherry Street, the site of America’s first White House in America’s first capitol city. Number 3 Cherry Street is fated to disappear without a trace, under the northwest foundation of the Brooklyn Bridge.”

In case you were wondering, the global population was not much over 750 million in 1789.

One of my favorite sentences thus far comes after a lengthy discourse on the makeup of stars and their behavior within galaxies and constellations, about both the violence of the stars (collapsing of gas and dust, ingredients which led to our Sun), and their beauty:

Much as our species has been made puny against the power of volcanoes, geology diminishes under the frightful majesty of the stars.

There is so much more for us to know, so much so tantalizing just beyond our grasp. We humans are many things at any given time. Nature knows so much more than we do. It remains upon us, as a species, to strike the right balance and show her the proper respect even as we pursue those same answers she withholds from us. Perhaps she does so because she knows we are not ready to know.

As for me, I cannot fathom a time when I will know all there is for me to know. For I, like you, am but stardust, and in so being am innately curious to know everything divergent and convergent within its meaning.

Fill my mind with knowledge and I shall know of power.

Give my power purpose, reason, and wisdom, and perhaps I shall ultimately understand myself.

Until that time I shall continue to be in awe of volcanoes, the heavens, and everything ethereal and physical inbetween.

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