Sound of the Sun

The Sun, 109 times the size of Earth and 330,000 times the Earth’s mass, represents 99.9% of our solar system’s mass.  Four million metric tons of matter is converted into energy every second.  The core burns at 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.   In 5 billion years scientists predict the sun will begin to die and slowly begin to expand.  The Sun’s expanded radius will boil away the Earth’s oceans and tidal forces will pull the Earth into the Sun and incinerate.

I hear there is no sound in space.  But imagine, if you will, the sound of the Sun.  I imagine the sound to be like the continuous explosion of a thousand erupting volcanoes combined with the roar of a billion forest trees ferociously burning every second.  Perhaps the silent power is even more terrifying.  Who really knows how much longer the Sun will silently burn in such an ideal manner for us animate creatures here on Earth?

Feeling Alive

Our Earth orbits the sun at 67,000 mph.  Our Earth and our Sun orbit our Milky Way galactic center at 483,000 mph.  It takes us 225 million years to circle our galactic center.  Our galaxy, including Earth and our Sun, is flying through the Universe at 1.3 million miles mph.  Gravity prevents me from feeling the speed.  I was born unaware and a mundane sense of complacency evolved through my education and life experience.

In spite of this inherent unawareness and learned, experienced sense of mundane complacency, there are brief instances in my life where I actually felt or feel alive —  moments that briefly snap me out of that mundane sense of complacency.  They are, relative to the short flicker of my existence, rare, but they nevertheless exist or existed.  My short list in no particular order below:

  1.  Making love to a woman I love
  2. Running wild in my youth with my little friends and brothers
  3. A youthful brawl
  4. A wonderful meal and a great bottle of wine with those of significance
  5. Playing competitive baseball or football at sunset or under the lights in my youth
  6. Traveling to a new place or culture
  7. Viewing the ocean, giant cumulonimbus clouds, seeing lightning and hearing thunder
  8. Viewing grand mountains or towering broad volcanoes
  9. Noticing a beautiful woman walking down a city street amongst the masses
  10. A great work of art in any form
  11. A smile or intelligent thought from my little 8-year-old boy
  12. Writing, thinking, photography
  13. Rave dance clubs in Europe during peak of my youth
  14. Strip clubs (it was a phase)
  15. Experiencing a large earthquake
  16. Viewing videos of natural disasters
  17. The wind in my face
  18. A good round of golf especially when I beat my brothers
  19. A full orange moon and a sky full of stars
  20. Spontaneous view of apex wild life in natural environment
  21. Changing color of leaves in the fall
  22. Starring at a fire and enjoying its heat
  23. Physical work that makes me use my muscles and causes me to sweat
  24. Laughing or crying
  25. Smelling fresh crisp air

I will probably add to the list as it enters my mind.  But for now…I look at the list and I think…oh…if things were different…how much more depth and how much more meaningful and fun such a list could be.  How much more frequent.  But it is what it is.  I only wish that my son, his son, his son, his daughter, her daughter, her son, could make a much more profound and meaningful list.  In fact, I wish the same for all of mankind.

Weight of the American Dream

                                                                           College Debt

Monthly payment on college debt

Credit Card Debt

Interest payment on credit card debt

Mortgage Debt

Interest payment on Mortgage Debt

Car Debt

Interest payment on Car Debt

Gasoline purchases (prices rising)

Parking expense (prices rising)

Car insurance (price rises after collision)

Car maintenance (should have bought a Toyota)

Life Insurance

Property Insurance

Health Insurance (rising)

Cell phone monthly payment

Internet, cable TV, and land-line monthly payment

Electric and gas monthly payment (rising)

Grocery bills (prices rising)

Clothes purchases

Things purchases (all made in China)

Beer and wine purchases (increasing amounts)

Entertainment expenses

Vacation expenses

Christmas expenses

Taxes (not enough to cover expense of American Dream)

Engagement ring (must be at least 1 carat)

Engagement ring monthly payment

Wedding expense

Babies expense (and the cycle continues)

Isn’t the American Dream great?  Who makes out in this deal?  Thank goodness we can toss what little money we have left into the 401K so our Wall Street buddies have some cash to play with at the casino.

Maybe in our next life we can soar freely like the Albatross.

A Muse for the Wall Street Protesters

Don’t stoop down to their level and speak in a language they can understand.  Aim high, far, and wide, otherwise you will achieve little more than mediocre results.  In other words, occupy the human direction. (Edit addition:  Think long-term…think five generations out and beyond…eventually we will have to make sacrifices and tough decisions to break the cycle of insantity).

“It is because Humanity has never known where it was going that it has been able to find its way.”

“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.”

Oscar Wilde

 

“I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know.  Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.”

Richard Buckminister

 

“Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.”

Dr. Carl Sagan

 

“There are those who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind is nothing but a dream.  They are right.  It is the American Dream.” 

 Archibald MacLeish

 

“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”

Tom Robbins

 

 “A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.”

“To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 “If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.”

“I love those who yearn for the impossible.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

“Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us, and never stop learning”

Ludwig van Beethoven

 

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”

“Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.”

Socrates

 

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

Marcus Aurelius

My First Visit — Occupy Wall Street Protest (West Coast)

I have never participated our mingled with protesters or a protest group in my forty and some change years of life.  I was a little nervous, so I tossed back a couple pints before entering the perimeter.  It was Sunday around 6 pm.  Cops were on standby at intersections around the designated protest spot.  I noticed a police paddywagon parked nearby.  Maybe I should’ve had a few more pints.

There were about one-hundred people gathered together and a guy was up on some makeshift podium speaking without any voice aids.  He would say a short phrase, the audience would repeat the phrase, and then they would put their hands in the air and wiggle their fingers and say “wheeeeeew”.  I wasn’t ready yet to join in on the ritual so I stood there and listened.  Several speakers took the podium one at a time and delivered short messages in the same routine.   Apparently this 6 pm event occurs every night and it is a council meeting. 

There was a mix of age groups in the crowd and they didn’t appear like a bunch of “loonies” or “lefties” as Bill O’Reilly has coined them. In fact, they looked like everyday citizens you would see walking down the street on any given day.  Sure, there were a few exceptions, but on the whole, “normal people” like me.  I did notice a soldier standing next to me in full dress and he was also just observing.

I decided to walk around and take some pictures of the card board signs with my crappy phone to capture some of the raw messages.  Below are some samples.  I also observed a few booths set up.  One booth provided information about the protest, another offered first aid, and another was set up with food and water.  I also observed several tents and perhaps twenty to thirty people relaxing in their temporary homes.  A few protestors held signs up by the street and many cars would honk their horns in support while passing by.

This was a good introduction for me and I will return in the weeks to come.  Looks like they have large demonstrations each Saturday so I plan to make it to the next one and participate.  I also obtained information about the local chapter’s internet site which contains lots of informative information.

      

 

 

 

 

Symphony Greatest Human Achievement

In my humble opinion the symphony is man’s greatest achievement.  Of course, it depends on what the symphony is performing.  I don’t want to get into my favorite composers…well…ok….my favorite is clearly Beethoven, but there are many other great composers.  When I am feeling negative about man’s direction and a feeling of despair begins to weigh my spirits down, I always tend to think about the symphony as a symbol of hope. 

Men and women performers come together for an audience and produce sounds and images that seem to come from another world.  A symphony seems to have the power to combine all the Muses into a single language that elevates above all the other art forms.  Of course, one must be in the frame of mind and spirit to accept and receive the gift from those wonderful performing artists and the composer.  There is no point listening to a profound symphony while stuck in traffic or rushing to a performance straight after a mind numbing day at work.  One must take the time to prepare one-self for such an event. 

I am not sure I am in a place to accept such profound gifts at this current time, but in my past such symphonic performances touched my soul and lifted my spirits to immense heights.  At the peak of my youth, I quit my job in Europe and traveled for over a year.  I re-read many of the great classics (Ancient Greece, Rome, and the Renaissance), wrote, pursued photography, frequented numerous museums, absorbed the architecture, enjoyed great food and wine, observed the beautiful women walking here and there, and on occasion would attend symphonies. 

These performances seemed to synthesize everything I had been absorbing around me and elevated the senses to even greater heights.  Oh, how far away I am from that state of mind to be able to accept such gifts.  If only I could again hear that beautiful pagan-like voice cutting through all the clutter that surrounds me lifting my spirit up to demigod like status.  I fear that I may never again be in the state to receive the greatest gift mankind has to offer…but I will nevertheless try.

Wild Animals

I almost ran over a family of four raccoons last night.  Have you noticed how rare it is to see anything wild these days?  Perhaps if you look up you might see a bird in flight or if you look down maybe some ants.  The most common sighting these days seems to be ourselves.  Thank goodness for pretty women.