Sunday Photo Fiction 8-20-2017

209 08 August 20th 2017


“You know,” Astronaut Bob said, “I never realized everything in space is held up by strings.”

“Fishing line, actually.”

Bob paid him no attention. “So our ship is being held up by string?.”


“What happens when the string breaks?”

Astronaut Joe looked pityingly at him. “We go home. Fast. Burn up in re-entry.”

“Oh….why didn’t this get mentioned before?”

“Are you crazy? They wouldn’t get anybody to sign up if they told the truth. I mean, would you be here?”

“Not a chance.”

“My point exactly.”

They both stood in silence for a few moments, staring out the window into space.

“Never knew space was quite so crowded either.”

Joe shrugged.

“So that bug looking one…..”

“Ant World.”

“What? There is a world where ants are as smart as men?”

“Just better builders.”

Bob scratched his head.  “Wow, there’s a whole lot about space I didn’t know.”

“You betcha.”

More silence.

“So what do we do now?”

“Wait for re-”

A loud sound interrupted Joe and Bob sat straight up in bed, eyes wide, heart pounding.

“Ten hours to liftoff, Bob,” the intercom blared.


But Joe was dead, burned up on reentry last March…….

Oh, shit!

Struggling With Reality –

“So: if you buy the notion that reality consists of the things in your freeze-frame mental image right now, and if you agree that your now is no more valid than the now of someone located far away in space who can move freely, then reality encompasses all of the events in spacetime.

-Brian Greene

I blogged the above as my “Quote For The Day” yesterday after reading it several times over, attempting to wrap my brain around the *reality* of Mr. Greene’s statement.  Something in my head keeps bulking at acceptance.  I know reality is not what we believe it to be, but is it “all events is spacetime?” Can one person’s reality be the same reality as a star so far away we don’t yet know of it’s existence?  Accepting that means accepting our reality is not really our own, but instead is the reality of the Universe.

Would that distance star’s reality be the same as my reality?  Does it accept the cars and 9 to 5s and the joy of the family?  I’ve always believed that everyone’s reality is different.  I don’t go so far as to insist that whatever I can see and feel and taste and know is the only reality available. I’m more of the mind that all people live in the same general reality, just as all stones live in the same reality, animals in their own, rivers and seas in yet another reality.  Parallel universes, maybe, overlapping and connect at all points yet still separate.

Do I know the reality of a stone?  I can imagine, but I can never know.

Somewhere in all these separate realities there has to be something, a spark of some unknown magic or science, that binds all realities together, bonding everything into one.  Where?  Is it invisible? Is it even really there?

I know I am made of star-stuff, so does that means the star is made of my-stuff?  What if we are all one? I am the star and the star is me. I am the river and the river is me.  Is this, then, all a dream? Is the star inside me dreaming or am I dreaming inside the star?

Or, maybe, the reality is both are true?

Quote For The Day 4-26-2015

“So: if you buy the notion that reality consists of the things in your freeze-frame mental image right now, and if you agree that your now is no more valid than the now of someone located far away in space who can move freely, then reality encompasses all of the events in spacetime.”

Quote For The Day 4-6-2015

“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Quote For The Day 2-25-2015

The one necessary and sufficient reason we are called to the Space Frontier is buried deep within us. It is a feeling . . . [a] calling to go, to see, to do, to be there. We believe Homo Sapiens is a frontier creature. It is what we do; it defines what we are.— Rick Tumlinson, Introduction—Who We are (Message 2 of the Frontier Files), 1995

Quote For The Day 2-23-2015

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.|

— Paul Hawkens. Commencement address, University of Portland, 2009

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


“Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: One, stay away from boys because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.”

Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

– review

I absolutely love this book!  The first time I tried to read The Raven Boys, however, I had a hard time getting through the first couple of chapters.  To be fair, I waited a few days and tried again. That time something clicked and I couldn’t put the book down. The characters are so crisp and well-rounded that suspension of disbelief is easy. Like CS Lewis in The Narnia Series and Susan Cooper in the Dark is Rising Series, Ms Steifvater has created a real world effortlessly connected to another, ancient, world of myth and magic.

Richard Gansey is searching for an ancient Welsh king, positive he is destined to awaken the king from his ancient slumber.  At the same time, he and his friends are simply boys at school, Gansey walking a fine line to keep Ronin from being expelled, Adam from being abused and Noah from fading away.  The contrast between the real world and the fantasy world deepens and expands as the story unfolds.

This book is a keeper, one that will forever have a place on my bookshelf.  The plot was so well-written that I never quite knew what was coming next.  Many questions are not answered in Book I so I am eager to start Book II, The Dream Thieves.  This is the kind of book that makes me fall in love with a writer and her world.  Before the end, I was a little in love with Gansey myself.

“In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.”
Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys