let us become a bit more like turtles


 

I believe

that our species will

not last long. It does not seem

to be made of the stuff that has allowed

the turtle, for example to continue to exist more

or less unchanged for hundreds of millions of

years; for hundreds of times longer, that is,

than we have even been in existence.

We belong to a short-lived genus

of species. All of our cousins

are already extinct. What’s

more, we do

damage.

 

There

are frontiers where

we are learning, and our desire

for knowledge burns. They are in the

most minute reaches of the fabric of space,

at the origins of the cosmos, in the nature of time,

in the phenomenon of black holes, and in the

workings of our own thought processes.

Here, on the edge of what we know,

in contact with the ocean of the

unknown, shines the mystery

and the beauty of the world.

And it’s breathtaking.

 

Carlo Rovelli

quiet inside

 

Thirty spokes

meet at a hollowed-out hub; 

the wheel won’t work without its hole. 

A vessel is moulded from solid clay; its inner

emptiness makes it useful. To make a room, you

have to cut doors and windows; without

openings, a place isn’t livable. 

To make use of what is here, 

you must make use of

what is not.

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 11

 

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this brief life

 

And

it seems to me

that life, this brief life,

is nothing other than this:

the incessant cry of these emotions

that drive us, that we sometimes attempt

to channel in the name of a god, a political faith,

in a ritual that reassures us that, fundamentally,

everything is in order, in a great and boundless

love — and the cry is beautiful.  Sometimes

it is a cry of pain. Sometimes

it is a song.

 

And song,

as Augustine observed,

is the awareness of time. It is time.

It is the hymn of the Vedas that is itself the

flowering of time. In the Benedictus of Beethoven’s 

Missa Solemnis, the song of the violin is pure

beauty, pure desperation, pure joy. We are

suspended, holding our breath, feeling

mysteriously that this must be source

of meaning. That this is the

source of time. 

 

Then the

song fades and ceases.

“The silver thread is broken,

the golden bowl is shattered, the amphora at

the fountain breaks, the bucket falls into the well,

the earth returns to dust.” And it is fine like

this. We can close our eyes, rest. This all

seems fair and beautiful to me.

This is time. 

 

Carlo Rovelli