Sunday, August 08, 2010

Putting Things Into Perspective

I have been reading my usual supply newsletters today and finally got to my favoutite - The Michael Masterson Journal... and he wrote:

Whenever I find myself embroiled in a stupid argument or endeavor, I think about time. This is what I think:

According to the best scientific measurements we have, time began 13.7 billion years ago. Hard to comprehend, isn't it? Maybe it will help if you think of it this way:

If the Big Bang occurred on the first second of January 1 and today is the last second of December 31, then:

The Milky Way came together in March...

The Sun and the planets in August...

The first single-cell organisms appeared in August...

The first vertebrates on December 17...

Dinosaurs on December 24...

Modern humans at 11:54 on December 31...

And recorded history began in the last 10 seconds.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Singing Tree in Soria

From Paulo Coelho's Warrior of Light August 5th 2010

The Singing Tree

A reader of my books met me at an afternoon book-signing in Bilbao, in the Basque Country.

"You always speak of symbols,” she tells me, "I want to show you a symbol that you have never seen.”

The next day she picks me up at my hotel.

"I don’t know how this started,” she says, "but legend has it that an old Jewish alchemist claimed that these trees could sing. The mayor of the town said that if he could not prove what he claimed, he would be killed. Ever since then, every year a tree sings in Soria, symbolically saving those who feel that everything is possible."

We reach Soria and go to a square. Little by little, people begin to gather and all of a sudden a complete band with all their instruments climbs the gigantic bi-centenarian elm tree in the middle of the square. Each musician occupies a branch.

Under the command of an invisible wand, a tree sings in Soria.