Friday, March 11, 2016

The Roar of the Sun

Ragged chevrons of geese, breaking apart and rejoining, this morning, flying just south of east, as if they meant to fly straight to Mt Hood and the sunrise. The crows were aware of them, but pretended not to be. I don't understand why crows and geese are so civil to each other: neither are good tempered birds. But they seem to observe some long-established, ancestral truce. The geese were flying low, just over the tops of the firs, but the crows never objected. They ducked their heads and fidgeted in the lower branches.

I don't know where the geese are headed. Maybe they turn east here so as to follow the Columbia into the interior. I imagine them headed for vast Canadian lakes way up on the Canadian shield: but for all I know they pass the summer by Camas Lake, just across the river here, eating Cheetos and grasshoppers.
"If, hypothetically, there were air filling the universe, then suddenly things would get very loud. Forget the terrifying concept of the sound of a supernova—just the dumb sun sitting there hanging out would ring in at an astounding 290 dB. According to one solar physicist, we’d hear that on Earth as a 100 dB sound—the volume of a motorcycle—all the time, every day, everywhere. Be happy that sound doesn’t travel in a vacuum."
So wrote Tim Urban over on Wait But Why. And ever since I've been imagining the roar of the Sun, that vast bubbling furnace, and how differently we'd think of it if we could hear it. Perhaps less of the Kindly Eye of Day and more of the Vengeful Deity. It is going to eat up the Earth eventually, after all.

Meanwhile, all the fruit trees are in blossom here below, and my eyes are heavy, and my throat a little sore. I wake before first light, do my back exercises, lift some weights, go for my walk and my "run" -- all of 250 feet, the width of five short lots, in this suburban eddy -- and wish vainly for a little more sleep. This time of year the light gains on me: I seem to hear it even in my sleep, trickling into the house, and frightening my dreams away. Then I lie there, walking in complex passages, some of them leading sleepwards and some towards waking. But I never know which is which, and eventually I'm woken up by trying to tell.

Full of love for friends making hard decisions, this morning. You are much on my mind. And all you travelers abroad in the wide world, with a heart for beauty and kindness: take good care of yourselves!


Murr Brewster said...

Light is noisy. Mmm! Cheetos and grasshoppers!

Unknown said...

I walk with your words as I sit on the edge of my bed. I'm lighter, ready for the next step.

Lucy said...

Cheetos and grasshoppers sounds like an update of locusts and honey.

A couple of crows saw off a heron from the bottom of the garden the other day, I was very pleased with them.