I was photographing the sunlight sparkle through the frosted grasses, when the flash of white from this feather, caught on a low branch, caught my eye. I love the background colours in this one too.
So, from a wee earthly detail, to some cosmic musing…
The greatest source of light in the Universe is what seems totally dark…
There was a recent BBC Horizon documentary on black holes – that staple ingredient of sci-fi films. Once thought to be rare, there is a giant black hole at the heart of our galaxy, and probably at the heart of every galaxy. Black holes are seemingly very contradictory beasts – quite how does gravity, supposedly one of the weakest forces in the Universe, become strong enough to to crush all matter out of existence? All known physics breaks down in their vicinity – they simply punch holes through the fabric of reality.
Despite the name, they are the greatest sources of light in the Universe, often thousands of times brighter than any other object. This emitted light can be so intense that it becomes stronger than the black hole itself and the force of it pushes away incoming material.
Enough have been studied to show that the size and shape of the black hole at its heart determines the size and shape of the host galaxy – the black hole’s gravity is the creative tension holding the galaxy together. More than this, the black hole at the centre of our galaxy is ultimately responsible for creating the conditions necessary for life on Earth. It sounds like the dance of Brahma (the Creator) and Shiva (the Destroyer/Transformer).
Perhaps black holes function like giant chakras of the Universe – transforming matter back to pure energy, the ultimate recyclers.
“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them…
…So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly.”
– Aldous Huxley, Island