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Saturday, February 24, 2007

The learn'd astronomer

Last evening Bro. Clarence gave a talk, or I should say a lecture on astronomy, and as he said, to prepare us for the upcoming observations with his new telescope. He even wheeled out the chalkboard and began drawing lines and arcs and numbers followed by countless zeros, he talked of Hubble and bubbles and a cosmos liken to the suds in a bubble bath, and on and on it went. I found it fascinating, but noted that Bro. Juniper was nodding off, so it is my guess that he is the one that push-pinned the following to the dining room bulletin board early this morning, and I must add, a fair rebuttal to talk of countless zeros.

WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer;

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;

When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;

When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;

Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

--Walt Whitman

4 comments:

Lucy said...

Bravo Juniper!
Isn't that telescope ready yet?

Bro. Bartleby said...

It seems that Bro. Clarence (once again) has too many irons in the fire, along with his telescope construction (with numerous nightly "test" observations to "calibrate" something or the other), he had many brothers joining his "electricity-free" month which included a candle-making enterprise, and he is currently talking of "straw bale" construction which he is contemplating visiting the Christ in the Desert Monastery in New Mexico, where I understand this building technique is being used. Also he and others have numerous "schemes" under way that I feel I shouldn't speak of yet.

Lifewish said...

Classic example of beauty vs. truth, don't you think?

Bro. Bartleby said...

I don't think so. Beauty and truth are not either/or essence. We as humans, as creatures made in the image of God, are attracted to God. I would think that beauty is the vehicle that propels us toward truths, which in turn move us a bit closer to holiness, to God.