Monday, February 25, 2008

Glass Trees

My world has been a crystal fantasy. Everything was coated in an icy splendor. It also carried with it a chilling reverence. Every step had to be calculated. Driving was reduced to a snail-like pace, at least at first. Subsequently, the ice melted causing icicle daggers to come crashing down. I drove home, cautiously avoiding the trees full of the abominable icicles. The trees seemed to be waiting patiently for the passing cars before releasing their daggers of ice. I could hear the dreaded crack and thud as a melting icicle struck the car in front of me. I could almost sense the tree's evil laugh as it hit its target. I zig zagged and eventually arrived safely home, or so I thought. As I opened my front door an ice dagger from the gutter swiftly struck the ground only centimeters from where I was standing. One slight move to the left could have left me with a pierced sternum. The sad part would have been the fact that the icicle would have melted away leaving my lifeless body and no one would be the wiser. The only evidence would have been a mere puddle. By the next day, however, it was all but a dream as the sun shone brightly across the muddy lawn.
Unfortunately, mother nature was given a second chance. The following week the fearsome ice returned in full force. Fortunately, the city was armed and ready. The streets managed to throw off much of the ice leaving a city of clear frosty trees. It was a sight to behold. All of the trees looked as if they were made of glass. When the light hit the ice, everything took on a surreal effect. I took pictures in order to remember how it all looked. Of course, no photo can capture adequately what the eye can see. On the final day of ice, we woke to snow. It was a light snow, but enough to cover all of the ice, turning everything white. Again, the camera came out in a feeble attempt to recreated the colorless world of white and gray.
I again drove near the evil tree that released its icy daggers the week before. However, this time revenge dealt an awful blow. The tree had split in half. Its limbs could no longer bear the weight of the thick, heavy ice. Crews were quickly sawing it into logs. It was almost as if it had a look of shock on its trunk.
Once more, the world has melted. It has been a unusual winter thus far. Despite the treacherous driving conditions we all have had to endure, we also, if only for a few days, lived in a crystal world of icy wonderment.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Four Letter Word for Valentine's day.

A collection of new fiction exploring the fascination and allure of the classic love letter. It is written by some of todays most notable writers including Margaret Atwood, David Bezmozgis, Douglas Coupland, Michel Faber, A.L. Kennedy, and Jeanette Winterson.
Amazon included a sample letter, one that I found quite intriguing. It is a love letter to Earth from Mars, written by Jonathon Lethem Here's an excerpt of the excerpt..
No, I'm an edifice, an enigma; to one such as you my science is like magic. Don't delay, act now, give up. You have been selected by a higher being from another realm to be siphoned from among your impoverished species to join me, to be seated in the empty throne beside me (only because I'd never troubled to glance to one side before to notice a seat existed there - not, somehow, until my gaze lit on you) where none of your lowly cringing fellows has ever resided. You're unworthy but you'll be made worthy by the acclaim of my notice. I say again, I'm superior to you. You're tinsel, static, a daisy, a bubble of champagne that went to my head and popped, and I don't even know why I want you and you'd better not give me the chance to think twice."

So, in effect, Mars is enamored with our own blue planet? That isn't too difficult to envision. Yet, this imaginary love letter clearly shows Mars' superiority complex towards Earth. I would think that such a love letter would put the object of affection off a bit. I mean, would Earth really love one so callous and egotistical? It does have its historical precedents, though. Josephine, for whatever reason, fell in love with the narcissistic Napoleon. Look where that got her. Or, for that matter, what in the world did Anne Boleyn see in the egotistical Henry the VIII? That "love" ended quite grizzly, did it not? I would tell the Earth not to listen to Mars.
If Mars truly loved you, Mars would put you on a pedestal, not look down upon you! Wake up dear Earth and see through Mars' self serving adoration. It is you, dear Earth, who supports life, not Mars. Sure Mars is a pure planet of limited diversity. It is unique unto itself, as far as planets go, but superior? I think not. Maybe Saturn, who's to say? No, dear Earth, tell Mars to keep to its orbit and leave you to yours. It most definitely has competition for your affections. There are 6,650,524,661 souls at last count who compete with Mars' adoration. Surely this cannot go unnoticed. The Earth should say, "Mars, thank you very much, but no thanks. I posses quite enough love for all the planets combined. Maybe, dear Mars, you could turn around a see your beloved companion, Venus watching you from afar. Yes, Venus has long since envied your superiority. Venus, named after the goddess of love and beauty, is obviously enamored by your red terrain. She gazes upon you without judgment. Her unconditional adoration is quite obvious to the rest of the solar system. Wake up Mars and see what has been right next to you all along. A mysterious, clouded orb of deep affection. Affection for you, my misguided companion, YOU!
Accost me no more, for I may implore my oversized sentinel, Jupiter, to come to my aid. You wouldn't want to go up against the fearless Jupiter. No, I didn't think so."
Sincerely yours, the venerable Earth

Friday, February 8, 2008

Keyboards: Avant- garde

I stumbled upon the best keyboards I've yet to see. For a writer, they're nostalgic. For a computer tech, they're really cool. For an artist, they're masterpieces in metal. They remind me of a cross between an old time typewriter and an H.P. Lovecraft work. To keep them in the leagues of the true artistic creations they are, these keyboards are not for the low funded individual. Put it this way, if you have to ask... Are they worth it? Probably. There's always something that sets a person apart from the rest. If I had one of these keyboards, I wouldn't keep it tucked away in my keyboard drawer. It would have to be sitting on my beautiful new desk for all to see. I mean, I couldn't exactly put once on my old computer desk. I would have to shell out the money for a dark, carved wooden desk worthy of such a keyboard. Now, why don't they make computers that look like this? Hmmmm, I'll get right on that.
Oh wait...check out their Steampunk Laptop. It defies description.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We are all time travelers

It seems that we are all time travelers. As we sit at our desks, tapping on the keyboard, time is traveling around us. The future is constantly being transformed into the past with the present only lasting for a fleeting moment (if at all). Everything that we are doing right now is quickly moving into the past, which means we continue to move through time.

Ideas of time travel have existed for centuries, but when Albert Einstein released his theory of special relativity, he laid the foundation for the theoretical possibility of time travel. Now, we may wonder, if time travel were possible, why haven't we met a time traveler from the future? Physicists such as Michio Kaku who wrote a book on Parallel Worlds believe that the universe is full of parallel universes. We are but a tiny atom within the whole cosmic reality. As such, we see the universe from our tiny perspective.
Imagine, like Alice in Wonderland, we could eat something that would make us grow bigger. Now imagine that there was no limit to how big we could become. Think of a tiny ant who became bigger and bigger. This ant would be amazed at what he saw. The world appeared alien the farther away his perspective became. So, let's imagine that we grew larger than the planet (let's assume air is not an issue). We became obsessive and decided to see how large we could become. If our hypothetical ant was amazed at the sight of civilization, he would be totally confused at the sight of the planet earth. The larger we made ourselves the more amazed we would be. That is, until we became so large that we no longer recognized the cosmos. Once we became larger than the viewable universe in which we live, we would see exactly where good 'ol planet Earth fits into the whole scheme of things. I assume we would, like the ant, become downright confused at what we saw. We can imagine that this huge person saw multiple universes existing within some some astronomic something. Maybe this person saw the universe explode, implode over and over. Would he see what runs it all? Would he see the beginning of something? Becoming larger and larger would he see the face of God? Maybe he already did and didn't know it. Is God a deity, an energy or force or maybe all of the above. Does God exist? It all depends on your definition of God. Does it matter? To each individual it does.
Out of fear, this bombastic person would then eat the "get smaller" food, like Alice did. Again, this person being driven by anxiety may get carried away and shrink down to the size of an atom and beyond. And, once again, he would become confused, disoriented and possible afraid. He would see an alien world before him. He would see the energy which makes up our known universe. What would he see? Would he see the face of God?
It all comes down to perspective. Einstein understood that perspective was everything. So, basically, our world is our world and no one else's world. That is because we see it in a way no one else sees it. Does it matter? Yes, it does!