Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite

This post is going to be a bit squirrelly, so stay with me.  There is so much that can be found in the subject of infinity.

I have no super awesome-photos to show you, at least, not ones that I took myself.  But I have a few shots and a lot of words.  Here are my first photos and thoughts on “Infinite”.

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I had a thoroughly enriching evening last Saturday, as I went to a choral concert entitled, “A Drop In the Ocean”.  The concert was inspired by a quote from Mother Teresa :

“My work is nothing but a drop in the ocean, but if I did not put that drop, the ocean would be one drop the less.”

Mother Teresa was surely no slacker, and she did several lifetime’s-worth of good works in the years she was on this earth.  Even so, this quote reveals that she considered her contributions as immeasurably small, considering the size and furious power of this world, not to mention, in our ever-expanding universe.

Yet, Mother Teresa also acknowledged that feeling as a small part of an infinite whole is no excuse for complacency.  The ocean (or infinity, or the world, or God) will be incomplete if we all fail to contribute our own drops.

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The members of the excellent Atlanta Master Chorale, as they give their drops to the ocean.

That’s the first, off-the-top-of-my-head musings on the infinite.

If I had captured that one photograph I attempted at a museum, where tiny dots of light were reflected into never-ending rows, I would be inserting that shot here.  Since the shot didn’t come out, I’m going to insert a poem by Deborah Garrison, called, “Add One” :

She’s five.

Wants to know

What infinity is.

I try: you take the biggest

Number, you think the last

Number there is, and you add

One more.

See?

You can always add one.

Bigger still.

Infinity means-

The numbers go on

Forever.

She thinks. Index finger raised.

Swiveling innocently Elvis-style

Hips in her big-girl jeans

And shaking her pigtails

In a trance of musing. Then

Cocks her head, terrier-set:

“Is it like, God is still

Alive, making numbers?”

Now, who told her – it wasn’t me! –

That God and infinity

Are spoken in one breath?

That what’s infinite

Must be divine?

Who, I ask you?

Now, one more picture, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and its engineers.  This is what the telescope saw when scientists aimed its sensors at a seemingly empty piece of our sky, and took 800 exposures, totaling almost 1 million seconds, over the course of 11 days in 2003 and 2004 :

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia. I assume NASA gave it to them.

This is some craaaaaazy shit.  Can you believe that we even exist in this type of vastness?  Thousands of galaxies – in just this small slice of sky – with untold solar systems, trillions of stars, and who-knows-what else.  It’s all out there, or rather, we’re in there.

Personally, I take comfort in this picture and how small it shows me – we – to be.  I worry over my life choices, large and small.  I scream and rant about the stupidity of our government, the way schools are run, and the price of gas.

But when I get too upset, I can remember that nothing anyone does today or tomorrow is going to destroy the universe.  All of that exists, every moment, as a constant to what I see as humanity’s inconstancy.

I will spend my life to add my drop, my infinitesimally small drop.  The universe will keep on going, not one drop the less.

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