September 5, 2014

Pure Science

Pure Science


Titanium skaters on lakes of metallic hydrogen
Strew constant curves of crystalline
Isotopes of all things adenine
Embedded in our house.

Enigmas of equations
Slide lattices to rest
In beds of powdered strontium,
Molding energy as form suggests.

In the place of flux we forge new forms,
That our flux-forged spaces fold
Charms of magnets' fevers
Which conduct Earth's core from pole to pole.


The whiteness of Earth's silence
Is an eye that stares on space.
Orbits chart it ceaselessly,
Etching paradigms of lace.

The inner of Earth's outer
Is a torus twisted twice.
Balloons ascend within it
Claiming shadows are the room.


What can the mind of silence hear
Other than a whiteness past recall?
It evolves from our epicenters,
Stretches measureless as sound,

Or is found on the floor of the void;
Where the whine of protons stills
In the drifts of chromium snow;
Where we gaze upon the bones of matter bare.

In time men alone in aluminum cloaks
Descend the neutron ladder,
And move in a sleet of particles
Too scintillating for instruments to record.

In time men in groups descend
Through the smoke of the universe,
To tend the embers, imprison flame.
Their cascading dance sparkles,

We taste... the afterimage of events.
Below us, pale and silent,
The plutonium leaves arabesque
Through radiant silences of solid helium.


Sometimes it seems I had a dream and as that dreamer woke immersed in mineral baths
and closed within a cool, dark chamber fed by streams flowing in from the center of nowhere.

Hanging from the granite ceiling a kerosene lantern cast shards of light
through the pale steam rising from the surface of the pools.

Ripples radiated outwards from the edges of my body and tapping faintly on the rock
revealed in echoes the edges of the chamber.

Outside I could hear the wind slide across the spine of the mountains
speaking in a language I remembered but could no longer understand.

Steam filled my nostrils and heat penetrated my bones until, after a time,
I had no body -- only a sense of silence and distance and calm.

It was as if I had just woken from all water into dream.

More and more I am convinced that our purpose is to extend our vision in all directions to bear witness to the miracle.**

**Planet Earth. A special collection of the most beautiful places all over the world . Music , Loreena McKennit - Night Ride Across The Caucasus.
[HT: PV]

Posted by Vanderleun at September 5, 2014 2:37 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Wow. I sent it thinking it would be "kinda neat", but the end result turned out to be something to be handed down to my children.

I am regularly awed by you, sir. Sometimes to the point of tears.

Posted by: Patvann at August 5, 2010 11:01 AM

Nice uninhabited planet you got there. I guess the environutsies finally got their wish.

Posted by: Punditarian at August 5, 2010 11:55 AM

Try again oh paragon of polititrons.

Posted by: vanderleun at August 5, 2010 12:04 PM

I mean what or who do you think is watching and recording all this?

Posted by: vanderleun at August 5, 2010 12:05 PM

Thank you for sharing that with us - all of it.

I'm going to be looking out for more of her music.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at August 5, 2010 1:11 PM

"..our purpose is to extend our vision in all directions to bear witness to the miracle."

Reminds me of this: A physicist is an atoms way of getting to know itself, or, one might say, sentient life is the Dietys way of getting to know ITSELF.

Posted by: John Hinds at August 5, 2010 1:56 PM

Amen, my brother. I am deeply moved and shall bear witness.

Posted by: f/zero at August 5, 2010 2:49 PM


Posted by: pdwalker at August 5, 2010 5:52 PM

I am equally awed by man that can capture this beauty and then set it to equally moving music. What other creature is capable of this....?

I thought so.

Posted by: Sirius at August 5, 2010 6:35 PM

I am sorry Mr Vanderleun, I know that you and I and your other readers are watching this. And I know that God is watching this. And it is beautiful and it is worth watching. And it does fill me with awe and respect. So I apologize for my intemperate comment.

But when I look at it again, I see that it is all gigantic landscapes, there isn't even much evidence of any life or living organism present at all other than a bit of green here and there.

So it's fine as far as it goes. But I think the awe and wonder of living organisms are greater, and the living organisms who can produce a Cathedral or the music of Bach or Mozart or a society of individuals living in ordered liberty are even greater.

If any one of the great natural vistas shown in this film were to disappear, it would be a tragedy.

Far worse would be the tragedy if government of the people, by the people, and for the people should perish from the earth.

And there is far more danger of that happening today.

I apologize for thinking so, but so I think,


Posted by: Punditarian at August 6, 2010 11:00 AM

. . . and the photograph you reblogged at KA CHING on August 1, "cooling off," is just as or more glorious than anything in this tape . . .

Posted by: Punditarian at August 6, 2010 11:14 AM

No apology needed punditarian. All may think as they like. But not everything is political.

Or, as someone said, "To a hammer everything looks like a nail."

Posted by: vanderleun at August 6, 2010 12:49 PM

Thank you, Mr Vanderleun. The way I learned it, when all you have got is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail. I wasn't trying to make a political point -- the absence of the evidence of human activity in the film was simply very striking to me, and on further reflection, that absence appeared to be a higher-order manifestation of the fact that there is no life, no living organisms in that film, either. Perhaps it is a microcosm/macrocosm thing. Some of the creations of civilization are as awesome and beautiful as any vista in the film -- including art, science, but also our American Declaration & Constitution. I'd put them right up there as manifestations of the florescence of the Divine energy which animates those inanimate vistas. I'm not sure if that is a political comment or not.

Posted by: Punditarian at August 6, 2010 1:37 PM

It's a politically spiritual comment and I like it. Plus it has the added value of being true.

Posted by: vanderleun at August 6, 2010 5:03 PM


You didn't see the humans, or their tech?!

Someone invented cameras. Others decided which parts of our planet might be "pretty" to the other FREE humans. Humans took those pictures from aircraft, helicopters, and space-shuttles. Others took those images and compiled them together in a mosaic of what they also knew FREE humans visually enjoy. Another FREE human sang a song that moved her, and by extension us. Another put it all together for us to enjoy, and put on the human-created web.

I (a free man!) stumbled across it...It moved my soul.

I sent it to a FREE-MAN named Gerard, thinking he would enjoy it, and hoped he would spread it to folks like you...He then added an accompaniment than brought all of us FREE humans together, and made it more than the author, or I ever intended. We FREE man and women are now freely exploring the impact of this casual collaboration!

I don't know about you, but I see humans, and their pinnacle all over this short 8min of planet-appreciation...and it's subsequent additions.

All done by free men and free women. Made free by our enlightened Founders, and those who defend it.

You might have been looking too hard. ;-)

Posted by: Patvann at August 6, 2010 9:31 PM

Thanks, Patvann. I usually just look at the obvious.

Posted by: Punditarian at August 7, 2010 5:19 AM

Dear Mr Vanderleun, I am pleased that you liked my last comment.

Posted by: Punditarian at August 7, 2010 5:20 AM

No life in the pictures? No living organisms? A good half of the film features footage of forests. Trees aren't alive?

Plants could live without animals - the proof is that it is quite possible to create a sealed garden in a big bottle - I've seen several. One needs a day/night cycle to make it work, of course. The reverse is, of course, not true.

There are is also a larger point to be made. In quite a lot of the pictures, blue sky can be seen; and that implies an atmosphere with a lot of oxygen in it. Which is also impossible without life.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at August 7, 2010 1:33 PM

The presence of the Unseen, seeing all, so very Godlike, so very imagined by those created in the image of God. Sometimes you see more with that inner eye than the obvious...the obvious becomes obviated.

Posted by: Jewel at July 20, 2011 10:59 PM

The elements and the science therein are miracles indeed, but even greater is that we've been granted the ability to observe them, survive them, utilize them, value them and, ultimately, having mastered them, we are able to appreciate the wonderment of them them and even appreciate that we appreciate the wonderment of them. As amazing as our universe is, and especially our little blue planet, its greatest invention is the human mind's ability to not only question the miracle with obsessive, feverish wonderment, but also to express the miracle in an endless spectrum of masterful creativity. The poet is in nature but longs to be of nature. That is the human catch. Beautifully and longingly expressed. Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by: RedCarolina at July 21, 2011 7:46 AM

"And God so loved the World..."

It didn't need to be this beautiful.

Posted by: Rick at July 21, 2011 12:01 PM

" In a dream I walked with God through the deep places of creation, past walls that receded and gates that opened,..., until around me was an infinity into which we all flowed together and lived anew, like the rings made by raindrops falling upon wide expanses of calm, dark waters."
'Markings' Dag Hammarskjold

Posted by: Howard Nelson at September 5, 2014 10:01 AM

Oh, those oldies but goodies.

People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about.

Posted by: chasmatic at September 5, 2014 1:21 PM

Fabulous tour of the womb and cradle of Mother Earth!
Light-years, galaxies, black holes, spinning
star systems galore. Quanta, alpha, beta, gamma radiation, Saturn's rings, music of the spheres. Gravity, strong force, weak force, asteroids, meteors, dark matter, dark energy, curved space, expanding universe, more and more. Astonishments piled on amazements, then -- the rains of June, and one night, through the clouds, the moon.
h/t, the rains ..., from some part of a Haiku, bringing the wondering wanderers home.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at September 5, 2014 6:45 PM