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Island Life

I don’t know about you, but I found that the recent revelation that scientists had found something that would confirm Einstein’s theory about gravitational waves somewhat disturbing. I say this because, at least on the surface, the idea that it takes all kind of research and special equipment to discover something supposedly earth shattering, or at least physics-mind bending, is mind bending in itself. I know this is plebian and physics phobic from the get go, but it just seems that if you are going to wait one hundred years to prove a major theory of the universe and its turnings, that I for one at least would like to see something of consequence come out of it.

I mean, if one is talking about waves, then it would seem that one might experience a pulse of sorts to come out of it. I can see that if you were talking about emotional waves or air waves or even like , you know, hair waves, that this would not be such a big deal- I mean, really. But we are talking about gravity here, which admittedly is variable and relative, but still. All the graphics that have come with the reporting of this phenomenon have shown these concentric circles emanating form some source and radiating out in a uniform fashion but seemingly distorting or warping space and perhaps time along the way- it seems like some sort of intergalactic tsunami running rampant in both space and time and it would seem that, rather than being something that is postulated and theorized, it would have real consequences and actual, sense-based ramifications. It would seem that on a scale that some could claim to be infinite, a wave said to be based in gravity should move things more than a few microns, especially if we are to stop what we are doing in reading about Kanye West’s financial problems or watching the latest analysis of Beyonce’s effect on Red Lobster’s bottom line and pay attention to all things scientific.

I guess that what I would like to see out of all of this Einstein stuff is something stupendous, but I have the feeling that that is not to be. We have not seen the Earth buffeted by cosmic storms or solar winds, except maybe as light shows played out in vast northern skies. We have not been rocked by invisible pulses that have wreaked havoc upon the masses as in a Michael Bay film, but maybe that’s not what we should be looking out for.

Most recently, I have had a few things disappear, the explanation for which is still forthcoming. There was my address book, the physical one with both the dead and the living still included in its actual pages. Most of the time this book resided somewhere between a drawer in the kitchen and a box that traveled with me in various road trip like situations,  and also contained a photo printer/postcard maker that allowed me to send semi-real time photos through snail mail to surprised recipients at the other  end. Modern technology has made this possible, and I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t caught on any further. But back in my day, when I was making my own postcards in ancient times, it involved celluloid film and development and printing which even on apriority basis meant hours or days compared to the immediacy of modern photo technology. While I marvel at the ability to take, send and display a photo throughout the world to an unexpected audience, I still prefer printing a picture on actual paper and writing a note on the back with a pen and ink and then putting it in the mail with a stamp and a wish that it arrives safely at its destination, which it usually does.
But then again, there are days like today that make me wonder about physics and metaphysics and the rest of it. Two things have gone missing here in an environment that should not have supported their disappearing act. In response there was this all day shuffle throughout the piles of stuff that have accumulated through time, and each time the shuffle was completed the missing item was still missing. Throughout this process there were the countless internal reruns of how these things may have been misplaced, along with the ever present reality that said object was nowhere to be found- until today. There was the apparently unnoticed box at the top of the shelves that, once retrieved yielded the much fretted over lost address book. And then there was the DVD, loaned by a friend, that mysteriously disappeared for days until a shake of the head resulting in a flying loss of reading glasses down a crack between a sofa and a box next to it that yielded not only the glasses, but the lost DVD as well. This was after days of sorting through stuff and wracking one’s brain as to where these things may have gone. As this all took place within one room, it makes me wonder about this time space thing and where things stay and go. With thoughts of gravity waves and the time space continuum, one has to wonder why psychotropic drugs were  ever needed in the first place. I suppose if we were all unstuck in time like Kurt Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim in his classic ‘Slaughter House Five’, all of this would be no big deal at all.
But we aren’t, and I’m still waiting for the next cosmic gravity wave set to come in. In the mean time, I can’t help but wonder if my two missing and found items weren’t just temporarily lost at the cosmic sea turn, only to return as the latest wave of gravity passed into the great beyond. As the frustration of every day’s search for said items comes sloshing back to mind , I can only be reminded of an exchange on the film ‘Ground Hog Day’ and that would be this:

Phil: Something is... different.
Rita: Good or bad?
Phil: Anything different is good.
I, personally, would like to know what the actual difference gravity waves could possibly make in my life. Beyond that- way to go Einstein.