Monday, November 25, 2013

Mining A Notebook from 2008

This is a page from a notebook of mine, that I wrote on Jan. 20 in 2008.  I had this old notebook out as I prepared to work with different groups of educators. This image of the church door is one I made in Stamullen, Ireland--where I was born.  There, I was named Olivia Muldoon.  In rereading the notebook entry, I was taken by the phrase: "A door--partially open."

The entry below, I penned on my birthday, Nov. 19.  This entry begins another notebook.  I find that I am fascinated by partially opened doors, multiverses, William James, and the slippages between universes that some days feels so possible, so probable.

November 19, 2013

A door--partially opened?


Perhaps this sense of partiality is as it always is when you try to go home. At best, you know it as a door, partially opened. A partial welcome.  Even old Tom Wolfe knew you can't go home, again.  So why on this night is the partially open door so very provocative? Perhaps such musing of home is even more a conundrum when the home you seek is one you never actually inhabited.  

We are never really whole.


Driving at night, listening in the dark as Rob is on about parallel universes. Just out of reach, parallel lives are happening.  Hold out your hand, I think, and touch the cold window, touch the darkness knowing any number of hands shaped like mine are touching the coolness too.  Who are we there? Travelers through a partial doorway?  Did we each leave Ireland?  Did not one of us stay that possible journey?  Are we any better for it?


The English Countryside (Reilly, iPhone, 2013)
In William James's essay (1895), Is Life Worth Living?, he coined the word, multiverse--expressing the complexity and coexistence of good and evil.  This is what he had to say:
Truly, all we know of good and duty proceeds from nature; but none the less so all we know of evil. Visible nature is all plasticity and indifference,--a moral multiverse, as one might call it, and not a moral universe. To such a harlot we owe no allegiance; with her as a whole we can establish no moral communion; and we are free in our dealings with her several parts to obey or destroy, and to follow no law but that of prudence in coming to terms with such other particular features as will help us to our private ends. If there be a divine Spirit of the universe, nature, such as we know her, cannot possibly be its _ultimate word_ to man. Either there is no Spirit revealed in nature, or else it is inadequately revealed there; and (as all the higher religions have assumed) what we call visible nature, or _this_ world, must be but a veil and surface-show whose full meaning resides in a supplementary unseen or _other_ world.

Physicists reclaimed the term during the last century to posit the idea of multiple possible universes.
The multiverse (or meta-universemetaverse) is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of spacetimematter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them. (from here.)

Such brooding thoughts tonight.  

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