Tiny pieces of possibility

Atoms in motionSometimes understanding the world and its human life forms is hard, even when you take it in little pieces. That’s nothing new, but it has hit home for me over the past few weeks and left me wondering what it is that motivates humans to act the way they do.

I’ve been studying physics as taught by the late Richard Feynman, former professor at Caltech and Nobel Prize winner, who is famous for a series of lectures he gave in the early 1960s to first year students. Not sure I’d ever be able to take on the whole Feynman Lectures on Physics, but someone thoughtfully pulled the basics together in a book called Six Easy Pieces, which, from its name alone, sounds ideal for this search I’m on.

Continue reading Tiny pieces of possibility

Looking back, but only for a moment

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That’s the title of this beautiful, somewhat haunting image that called out to me so strongly this year that it’s now on my wall (the artist is Edmontonian Maria Pace Wynters).

These last few weeks of the year I’ve been guilty of overfeeding my brain as well as my body – devouring everything from how quantum mechanics explains parallel universes to looking backward through time and space. Continue reading Looking back, but only for a moment

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I’ve been thinking a lot about heroism the past few weeks – how much of it is in our nature, and how much is a conscious choice to act in particular circumstances.

There are people who choose to risk physical danger daily to protect, save or stand up for someone or something greater than themselves. They deserve to be recognized as heroes for that kind of sacrifice. A few people find themselves in situations where they make the same sacrifice, whether they chose to be there or not. I’d call them heroes too. Continue reading

Somewhere on the northern plains

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This definitely calls to mind the “yolky sun rising on the snow fields” that Alan Doyle sings about in Northern Plains. No snow yet, but it won’t be long. Photo courtesy Colette, taken somewhere just east of Elk Island National Park during our marathon trip to Saskatoon and back in one day to volunteer with the Blue Dot tour.

Three thoughts on the pale blue dot and its life forms

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There are more like three hundred thoughts floating around in my mind after volunteering with David Suzuki’s Blue Dot tour and picking up on the passion and optimism of the artists, activists and volunteers in Saskatoon and Edmonton. But I’m narrowing it down to three. Continue reading Three thoughts on the pale blue dot and its life forms

Road trips, down familiar roads and new ones

Edmonton AB – Dinsmore SK -Swift Current SK – Calgary AB – Blairmore AB – Fernie BC – Whitefish MT – home. Covering prairie, badlands, foothills and mountains. These pictures don’t do the scenery justice, but they do evoke memories, which is what this project is all about. Continue reading Road trips, down familiar roads and new ones

Blowin’ in the Wind (with a nod to Bob Dylan)

On the quest for revelation, the concept of a universal consciousness keeps suggesting itself. Diarmuid O’Murchu talks about how “energy is never wasted; it is always in a process of transformation” in his book In the Beginning Was the Spirit. “When the energy that constitutes my alive self leaves my body in death (or shortly before), it reunites with the great energy fields of creation from which it originated in the first place.” And later in the book he talks about “the Spirit that blows where it wills is the surprising catalyst, forever breaking open novelty and extravagance – and not merely in the foreseeable future, but far beyond our conventional notion of space-time, as cosmologists press forward into new visionary horizons of an open universe without beginning or end.”

This isn’t just something I’ve read about. The wind has always felt more like a source of life (energy) than a force of nature for me; or maybe those are both the same thing. If a consciousness exists outside our physical bodies, couldn’t it take the form of an invisible yet omnipresent force, with the power to both produce energy and destroy everything in its path? Continue reading Blowin’ in the Wind (with a nod to Bob Dylan)