“Billions and Billions,” Carl Sagan would say, with that weird bombastic emphasis on the ‘B’ that we liked to mimic. I believed him when he told me that the universe was bigger than I could ever imagine. Even if I didn’t understand the concept of infinity, I got the enormity bit, and I started feeling small. Tiny.
The other day, I saw a video, a visual representation of a gargantuan universe. Carl, it turns out, should have been saying ‘Quadzillions’ instead of Billions. This is a quick video, three amazing minutes, well worth your time. You may want to look at it before you read on-it helps get your mind around the breadth of the universe. Turn off the music...you don't need it and it's annoying.
Do you see my point? I have shrunk (in relative importance/meaning) to a size you couldn’t even see with the human eye. I used to think I was as big as a grain of sand. Now, I'm smaller than one of the 100 species of insects hanging around our homes…that we never see. (Creepy that they’re there, huh? But true.) This makes Jonathan Swift a terrible under-estimator in Gulliver's Travels!
Relatively, says Hubble, I am less than itsy bitsy in size, and my importance diminishes with every new discovery. My effect: a lot less than a butterfly winging it.
Usually I rise each morning buoyed by big ideas and tall purpose; we writers live by making comparisons and setting hefty goals. But I have to admit that size does matter and my ideas and purposes seem whittled down by the ballooning universe.
So I’m interested. How are you dealing with the your shrinking importance in the world? Humor is welcome, of course, whenever we have these crazy existential conversations. Example: One good outcome-I have lost ‘weight.’ ;-)
To go with my 'diminished' theme, I’ll trot out FAINT, the third in my Funeral Planner Suspense series. Here are a couple tweets:
Thoughtful #dog, sweet man with #Alzheimer’s, #blind forensic investigator FAINT-3rd in series http://amzn.com/B0180LJBRI #suspensest #romance
Criminals challenge brains & relationship of freelance embalmer & blind forensic investigator #suspensest #romance http://amzn.com/B0180LJBRI