Mind Flow: Part 6: A heart after my own

 

a-heart-after-my-own

I realized that we were destined for each other one evening, as you sat across me, in a restaurant. You stretched your hand to the table, and started tapping it with the tips of your fingers:

 

Tap.

 

Tap.

 

Tap tap.

 

Tap tap tap.

 

Tap tap tap tap tap.

 

And I, looking on, listening, suddenly recognized the pattern:

 

“Is that… that IS the Fibonacci sequence, isn’t it?”

 

You didn’t respond verbally. Instead, with the sweetest smile on your face, you tapped out the next number in the sequence:

 

Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.

 

I was taken in. Enchanted. Your smile was still glowing on your face. And as I looked at your eyes, I saw your pupils dilate, ever so slightly. And I stretched forth my arm, and cupped yours in mine, and continued gazing at your hypnotizing eyes. And for the longest of moments, the entire world came to a halt around us. Background sounds faded into silence. The lighting in the restaurant softened and merged into one omnipresent illumination. There was nothing else in the world, at that moment, except our gazes at each other.

 

We couldn’t deny it: Cupid had struck that night.

 

And now, years later, whenever I see Fibonacci patterns anywhere, I always pause, and reminiscence. For as it happened, we enjoyed many nights and days of blissful companionship, after that day in that restaurant. Days filled with sunlight and laughter. Nights filled with heart-melting intimacy and wines and idyllic sessions by the fireside. We’d both gaze at the flames, and see them leaping and dancing and cackling, and we’d see a million brilliant possibilities for our future together. But providence had other plans, and we eventually drifted apart, and eventually lost contact of each other.

 

Still, I live in a world of Fibonacci patterns. Nautilus shells. Fuchsia and lily flower petals. Coneflower seed heads. Pine cones. The mating patterns of bees. In all these, the Fibonacci sequence dominate. The sequence  determines the very curves of life. And I, whenever I see these patterns, I remember you. And I wish you well, wherever you are.

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Mind Flow: Part 2: The Flower Duet

Flower Duet

 

“Dôme épais, le jasmine

à la rose s’assemble,

rive en fleurs, frais matin

nous appellent ensemble …”

 

Like a sound mite, that section of the opera keeps playing over and over and over again in my mind, reminding me of the two elegant ladies that sang the wonderful piece, each lady belting out her part from her heart, as they narrated out the simple but profound French countryside tale,  and making everyone in the audience reminisce of a time in the past, when life was simpler, and had less concrete walls, but more live hedges, and when birds chirped more in the mornings, high atop all the many trees that dotted the countryside.

 

And you, you were with me in that opera, and you leaned over to me, and rested your head on my shoulder, and clasped my hands,  and had this dreamy look on your face, and I could tell that you too longed for that countryside life, where winds whistled through the pines, and the passerines did their murmurations in the evening skies, and the clouds themselves swirled and swooped and formed a million different shapes, all for our express joy and cheer, as we celebrated our inviolable partnership with mother nature: beautiful,  ever giving, ever kind mother nature.

 

Years have passed since that day in the opera, and so much has happened since, including us drifting apart, but I truly hope that if you ever go into an opera again, and listen to “The flower duet”, that you’ll remember me, and the countryside,  and the simple beauties of beholding and experiencing nature, and that, like a fluttering butterfly,  you’ll skip over daisies,  and dip into a thousand flowers, and be one with nature, again.

Mind Flow: Part 1: Bergamot Scent

Mind flow part one - Bergamot Scent

 

There were some bergamot notes in the air – so rich and sweet – and they reminded me of you and the many idyllic, magical evenings we spent together, by the fireside, just staring at the crackling flames, and rarely saying anything to each other, at least not vocally, for our minds were in synch, and we could read a thousand words off each other’s eyes from just a simple glance, and our mutual smiles would light up each other’s faces, and paint our futures in brilliant,  vivid hues, and the hope and the joy and the exuberance would be overwhelming because nothing seemed impossible then and no single vision for the future looked out of reach as long as we stuck together.

 

Wherever you are right now, whatever you are doing nowadays,  if you ever sniff that same bergamot scent, I hope you’ll remember me too, and that you’ll ponder on that part of our past, so vividly etched in the mind – a past worth reliving,  over and over again – and drawing a smile from, for it was a phase in our mutual lives when the green meadows of Arcadia… when Utopia itself, was at hand, and we lived in it, and breathed it, and laughed in it, and THRIVED in it.

 

Do remember this.

Dare to Dream 3: The Aleph Gardens

 

Take me to your Aleph Gardens, Aglaea;

 

For lo, I envision your realms: full of infinities and power towers. I would like to walk on the lush banks of River Transcendence, and idly meander in and out of profundities and sentimentalities. Bring me face to face with the Time Kraken, show me how you slew it, and laid it at your elegant feet. Show me the coveted Achilles Heel of Times Past, and Times Yet to Be. Let me plunge far into the future, and emerge into a time far in the past, unscathed. I want to see my own temporal profiles – all thousands, and millions, of effervescent backsides, broadsides, and front-sides, as my mortal-self paid obeisance to the Time Kraken.   Cover me with your timeless cape; hide me from the sting of mortality.

 

In various astral and etheric voyages, I have had a glimpse of your Aleph Gardens, Aglaea. And have, time and again, experienced a most inimitable qualia – one that, quite certainly, can’t be described in mere human words. The Aleph Gardens number up in a countably infinite sequence, starting from Aleph “Naught”, to Aleph “Unary”, all the way up to Aleph “Lemniscate”. But alas, to my impoverished, mortal eyes, the actual interactions between these gardens remain too complex to resolve visually. What I can perceive, however, breaks down into a relatively simple relationship between all gardens, and their singleton domiciles, as follows:

 

 

Pray tell, Aglaea: does my humble formula hold true for all of your gardens?

 

Despite the rather abstract foundations for your gardens, Aglaea, I’ve beheld, in all the various Aleph planes, beauty of a manner and instance that surpasses any other mortal indulgence. There is, for example, the magnificent rainbow that arcs all the way from Point Alabah, in Aleph “Septenary”, to Point Netophar, in Aleph “Vigesimal”. And oh, what an enchanting spectrum this rainbow harbors! Aero, Crimson, Almond, Bisque, Onyx, Terra Cotta, Zaffre, Tuscan, Tangelo, Sapphire, Pumpkin… and a host of other hues that don’t even have an earthly name. Up the various gardens, the spectrum shimmers, scintillates and literally breathes, weaving and unweaving the most hypnotic wisps of color.

 

Then there are the ubiquitous symphonies, streaming softly all over the ethereal realms of the Aleph Gardens. Symphonies with the most unusual time-signatures; at various times, listening to them, I’ve found myself suffering a distinct alienation, as the constantly-shifting tempos undulate in the most counter-intuitive manner. The perceptible tessituras also keep spanning through all the three human clefs – the F, C and G-clefs – yet the resultant timbre feelsdeeply harmonized, and not at all decohered. The nearest earthly analogue that I’ve ever experienced emanated from a certain Humpback Whale, off the East Coast of Australia, whose unusual vocal signatures are still the subject of numerous research papers… 20 years after it died, childless.

 

Perhaps my mortal status prevents me from really comprehending the Aleph Gardens, Aglaea. Perhaps, in a sense, all my interpretations of the Aleph Gardens are wrong, since I can only use my human senses to try and comprehend that which is woefully beyond human experience. If this is the case, then pardon me, Aglaea. Mine is but a small, microscopic, attempt to comprehend eternity, and boundlessness. It is but an extension of this very human need to reach forth, beyond my physical shell, into the very soul of the cosmos. And it is upon this need, Aglaea, that I implore you, once again:

 

Take me to your Aleph Gardens.

Dare to Dream: Delta V

Dare to Dream - Delta V2

 

“Seeing the stars streaking past in such dizzying arrays… is simultaneously the most exhilarating and the most humbling experience… ever…”

 

Those were the standard sentiments from any Team Epsilon Cosmonaut, upon completing the first deep space round trip. In this simple sentiment, lay fundamental, paradigm-shifting feelings of pride and hope at just how far the explorers had come. From the days of the internal combustion engine, to the days of nuclear fission and, much later, to the days of cold nuclear fusion, space propulsion had always rent a palpable edge to us, the explorers. The need to explore the cosmos… to comprehend the vastness out there, had driven innovation into ever more efficient propulsion systems for deep space.

 

Ultimately, we hit upon the holy grail of propulsion: the anti-matter space engine. And with this innovation, we became, for all practical purposes, space gods.

 

The anti-matter space engine started off, quite surprisingly, as an offset of an even greater human endeavor – the search for the Higgs boson, also referred to as the God-particle. In the search for this boson, several gigantic particles colliders had been built, including the Tevatron, the Hadron, and the Clymedin collider. Each subsequent collider had boasted even larger particle loads, of which only a very small percentage was actually used in the final search for the Higgs boson. It was then that Team Gamma – the cosmology team preceding us – hit upon the idea of collecting antimatter byproducts from all those colliders.

 

Several monstrous Penning Traps were constructed on site for each of the particle colliders. The Penning traps operated by filtering out only antimatter particles – mostly positrons and anti-protons – and suspending them in vacuums so that that they didn’t interact with any normal matter. Magnetic and electric fields within the traps ensured that the antimatter remained in suspension, trapped by well synchronized axial and radial waves from the two fields. By combining the output from all the colliders, Team Gamma was able to harvest, reliably, approximately 100 Kilograms of antimatter every year.

 

Our cosmology team, team Epsilon, was credited with creating the anti-matter engine. This engine operated by allowing the antimatter, stored in smaller Penning traps within the space ships, to interact with normal matter. The matter-anti-matter annihilation that took place produced energy in excess of 300 times what any nuclear fusion system could produce, and more than 10 billion times what any chemical reaction could produce. Team Epsilon, in short, harnessed Einstein’s equation for mass and energy. The resultant, stratospheric fuel-thrust conversion ratio produced a specific-thrust enough to send a payload exceeding 900 TerraKgs round the entire Milk Way Galaxy on only 3 Kilograms of antimatter fuel.

 

In order to actually utilize the new propulsion system, there were some attendant costs. We had to bear up with extreme astro-dynamic stresses. In each mission, all cosmonauts aboard, and the rest of the payload, would become projectiles – sent at double-digit percentiles of C – the speed of light. The g forces involved were enormous and, like most of my colleagues, I fainted on several of the first such missions. But, as proven thousands of times before, the human body is highly versatile, and in due time, our bodies started adapting to the incredible g forces we were experiencing. In time, we came to bear as much as 15 g during the acceleration phase – forces that, to an untrained person, would certainly have been fatal.

 

Team Epsilon started its deep space explorations by aiming for a region of space known then as the Echi-Niche region – 2.1 Light years away from the solar system. We reached the region in 5 years earth time. Our chronographs, however, showed that only 3 years had passed aboard the ship – a testament to time dilation as we approached the speed of light in our transit. The Echi-Niche region proved to have exactly what we had hoped for – vast amounts of anti-matter deposits. We replenished our fuel within the Penning traps, and headed back home with the good news.

 

Within two decades of the first space mission propelled with antimatter, numerous other missions were undertaken by Team Epsilon. Some missions specifically targeted the Echi-Niche region, since it had quickly become clear that mining that deep-space deposit was cheaper than harvesting antimatter within the colliders on earth. But other missions targeted other deep space artifacts. We soon demystified dark matter and dark energy, for instance. We initiated a project to terraform Alpha-Centauri – one of our neighboring stars. And we even sent a probe to the center of the Milky Way galaxy. It’s still on transit, and its fuel reserves are more than enough for the journey.

 

….So many parsecs travelled… so many star systems flown by… and yet, so much more to be explored. Yes indeed, the universe is huge. So huge that, even with our best instruments, we can only catch, and fathom, a tiny, miniscule fraction of what actually lies in deep space. The actual volume explored during our space missions is even smaller – a microsphere of a micron of the universe. But we remain undeterred – remain focused on doing the best we can at exploring this near-infinite void. Whatever we shall accomplish, subsequent generations will build up on. But our mark, our legend… our footprints in space, will be discernible forever.

 

… Dare to dream…