Friday, November 23, 2012

The wonder of it all

Science and magic go for a walk in the woods on a perfect New England day. The air is crisp and clean. The sky is immeasurably blue, and the air is clear. Everything is high res.Here is their conversation.

Magic: Look at the rocks.

Science: There's a tree growing out of the rock. I wonder how that could be.


Science: I wonder why that canal is there. Who built it? Why?

Magic: Look at the moss.


Magic: Oooo ... a perfect fairy ring! (walking into a circle of tall trees whose trunks are spaced just far enough apart that she can spin around with her arms outstretched).

Science stands and watches.


They walk down what appears to be another main path, to see where it begins.

Science spots the tree growing out of the rock.

Science: We've only gone about a quarter-mile out of our way.

Magic: We don't have a way. We haven't gone out of it because there isn't one.


Science: I wonder how old this (reservoir) is? I wonder who built it? I wonder where it is on the map? I wonder ...
Magic (impatiently): Don't wonder why or how. Just be here.

This is a semi-real conversation between my spouse, a computer scientist, and me. He wonders what and why and how things came to be. I wonder that they are. He wonders what the bird is looking for. I watch it fly.We share our wonder as we walk through the woods. I point out tree stumps, sparkling water, colors. He remembers that we need to turn left to get back to the path to our car.

Science and magic aren't enemies, aren't opposites. They live symbiotically, interdependently, in a state of wonder.

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