For the month of April, fellow author, Thea Atkinson is streaking through 30 blogs and flashing us a piece of fiction. I offered her a space today so she could expose a piece. Enjoy! Please follow the links at the end to see who she flashed yesterday, and who she will flash tomorrow. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know if you enjoyed the streak, and you are welcome to tweet it or share it on Facebook. You can also follow the chain through twitter with the hashtag #blogstreak
Residue of Einstein
By Thea Atkinson
History books tell us that some poor schlep from a patent office millennia ago worked out the initial theory of relativity. I read somewhere that this guy—Einstein—worked for years (until his death, actually) on a mathematical theory that would explain everything. The universal theory, they called it then, and then sometime later, maybe a bunch of decades, the string theory. But that’s all speculation now. They can’t prove that he wanted to work out a theory so all encompassing, but I believe it. Who wouldn’t want to discover something that could explain everything we are—everything we’ve done and hoped for. It’s been the search of man since the Industrial age.
Well, you know how it turned out, the same as the rest of us. Not to get into the physics or anything, but the formula is pretty easy when you know it exists as all of humankind does now. It’s a wonder the man never discovered it as he reached the threshold of his last seconds. It’s as rote at thing as the obsolete formula that has his dodgy, unreliable theory at its core.
E=MC2. He couldn’t have known how close he was. I try to imagine him sometimes as a hunched over being working with instruments to figure it all out, but it’s tough to envision; at least, it was until I streamed backwards and sideways and saw him as I wanted to see him, finally. I saw things that no one of my day has thought to witness. That man, that predecessor to all we are: what he looked like, what his work entailed, what his frustration felt like. Anyone could have gone there, if they’d cared to, if they’d wanted to: yet no one has. I know they haven’t. Of course, if they had, they’d have seen something different anyway.
Still, it changed me, that moment. That parsec. That streamtime. Seeing him bent over, sitting at something that seemed to support him. Furniture, I think they called it: table, chair, walls, floor, space, time. All those things existed in that streamtime and it was glorious. And all because of the theory some button addled cubist laser worker was able to glean from that man’s base formula: changed that Energy theory right round and gave us all the realization that at its very core and particle, mass is light.
Ah yes, a bit longer but infinitely more malleable: the circumference of the Earth cubed times the speed of light quaded. We know it, all of us, and yet only some can explain what it means and the breadth of it. Only those long lost physicists who molded it into something useful would have felt the want to, but we’ve no need for them now—them or any scientist.
And I know the universe is better off for having been able to describe all meaning in one equation: no wars, no hunger, no death.
Just light. Infinite particles of pure energy moving, coiling, weaving time and space into something indescribable, even for us here within it.
And as blissful as it is here in this nirvana, I do envy those ancient humans their sense of solidity and their ignorance. That they had to touch each other to feel, that they had to speak to know each other. I want to streamtime back and watch Einstein over and over, change his clothes, clutter his desk, whisper to him that the theory isn’t worth it. Tell him to give it up and enjoy what he has, what he will have, what his bed will feel like as he lies on it in death.
Because what good is living when there’s no struggle to stay alive?
April 25: Edward Robertson
April 27 JR Tomlin