online: 27 june 2002

26 june 2002 three cheers for humanity, and everything

20:12 A fully grown tree with its leaves shimmering in the wind and in the evening sunlight; beyond the tree, a cloud; beyond the cloud, an aeroplane; and here around me are the branches, leaves, buds and flowers of another large tree (an alder perhaps?)... and some insects, flying.

...and now the sky is almost clear, pale blue, and another aeroplane flies beyond the tree, much higher, while small flies dart about me with accellerations perhaps ten times greater than that of any aeroplane or helicopter - or of any moving thing that is itself of larger scale than are flies (because if something is say ten times the length of a fly it will be 10x10x10 = 1000 times the volume and hence the weight - but the area of its power surfaces, e.g. wings or propulsive rotors, will be only 10x10 = 100 times that of the fly and so the power/weight ratio, and hence its accelleration, will be one tenth of the fly's...)

I'm not sure why I am drawn to restating that bit of physics in this writing, which I intend to be poetic - perhaps it is because I want to explore and to communicate all the continuities (of existence) insofar as I am aware of them?... Or perhaps it is because my father taught physics and I like teaching it also?

But to combine the poetic and the scientific with everyday or ordinary experience - isn't that my whole purpose?... it's not something I should question, it's something to rejoice about, though what I can describe is only a small part of the many connected realities around me (if describe is what I am doing?).

Yet all this is also a fiction.

But the tremendous continuity of life, its complexity, and the vast doubts which are implicit in this or any other statement, all these are the joy of existence, the pleasure of being alive, of being so privileged a part of what we can call nature and/or God (which are identical if we believe the theory of Spinoza)...

Just now, before leaving, I am looking at several tall grasses swaying in the wind. They seem taller than any others in the meadow before me. And then I remember several people I know who are, like these grasses, more able or more gifted than are most others. But I know that each of these people is profoundly disappointed at the lack of response to his or her efforts (me also at times)... Yes, unlike the grasses, we need applause*, and yet we hesitate to give it. Three cheers for humanity! We need it.

And now I drink the last mouthful of my 300ml of water - and then I note this before I walk briskly back, for I'm beginning to feel chilly.

* I can't remember where it was that Gertrude Stein wrote of writers and artists, intent on their works, that all they need from other people is 'applause, applause, applause'.

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© 2002 john chris jones

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