Last Saturday night I became aware of two facts. One, that assuming you are of average height and build, your heart contains 5,000,000,000,000,000 joules of potential energy. Two, that I need to get out more, and not stay in and do math on a Saturday night.
I based these theories on Einstein’s E=MC2, which I think you’re all familiar with, and the fact that I was still wearing yesterday’s socks.
Since I didn’t know off-hand what a joule is, other than a unit of measurement for energy, let me put it in perspective. 5,000,000,000,000,000 joules is roughly one sixth of the output of a hydrogen bomb. That’s what’s rattling under your ribs. Quite a bit of BOOM.
It’s a strange thought, isn’t it? But that’s the law of this strange universe, that there is a great deal of potential in even the smallest things. This idea doesn’t just go back to the origins of our world, it IS the origin. Every physical thing you have touched or you know or you have seen even in photographs from NASA, every boulder on every mountain that ever was, even the atoms that will someday collect into your future children, was once compressed in a dot so small that to in any way wrap your head around how small it was you have to understand that you simply cannot wrap your head around how small it was. And we don’t really know what set it off. If we had another of these little dots lying around, we wouldn’t have any certain idea of how to open ‘er up. We just know that this one, the one that had all of us in it, did.
With the seeming randomness of falling in love, something sparked our little dot, and within minutes, a space of possibility had opened up so large that again, yours and my brains do not have the frame of reference to take it in. And like the how, we don’t really know why. Is there a point to this? If there is a point, what is it? Is it life? Was life inevitable? Where there botched attempts before this one? Will there be more afterward? If life is the point, is the point of life, humans? We might be forgiven our assumption it is because currently we dominate the food chain, by at one point in earth’s history so did turtles, so we can’t exactly say with any real certainty that WE were the expected offspring of that pregnant little atom. We might just be the sperm
We only know that we are the first, that we know of, to have any awareness of the big picture, to take any interest or joy in the discovery.
There is a branch of math/science called fractals. And the basic, oversimplified version (ie, the only version I understand) of fractals is that what is true of the large is true of the small. That a branch resembles it’s tree and that a tree looks like a branch, they have the same shape, just on a different scale.
So perhaps if that is true, and it seems to be, that it is also true that hearts are capable of opening Milky Way sized holes in people’s chests, in no time at all, for reasons we don’t always understand. That we are walking around with something mystical in it’s ability, right next to our lungs. That we could fall in love in a way that blows our sense of proportions to shreds. An d that suddenly fire and rock and fluffy soft clouds could all be somehow in there, scorching and crystallizing and dancing in orbits in a place that didn’t used to exist, while our minds try to take it all in.
And it could leave us with all the same questions. Is there a point to this? Was it inevitable? Will something come of it, and if so, what? Is it this, this moment, or is there more and stranger and more amazing things to come?
I am reminded that for billions of years after our big bang, nothing much happened. Well, nothing much that pertains to us. If we could have looked in on those years from some strange outside perspective, we might think that the whole thing had been pretty damn pointless. A damn fine show but what did we really have to show for it? Rocks and gas and lots of dark.
So maybe I’m right on schedule. Maybe the show is just getting started and who knows when that twitch of electricity will happen in my primordial ooze, who knows when that one cell will knock on the door of that other cell, and something will be set in motion that makes us say, ok, THIS IS THE BIG WHY.
In the meantime, you’ll have to excuse me. I just know I need to go out tonight.