Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +1429

The Importance of Insignificance

Tonight, I saw a portion of a super-high resolution image of the Andromeda galaxy. Just published January 6, 2015, the presentation: Gigapixels of Andromeda [4K] focuses on a small portion of the image and zooms in closer to show uncountable tiny glowing dots, each of which is likely a sun, which may have at least one planet, on which a life form might be staring upwards in wonder at our galaxy, the Milky Way. As the video zooms outward from the close up, the sheer immensity of our little corner of the Universe becomes more apparent than in any photo I've seen before.

I won't try to download the image, it requires 4.3 GB storage, and represents 1.5 billion pixels. Maybe I could view it at IMAX, but on my desktop? Forget it.

Viewing the video of the image was good for me. I often view beautiful images of immense places (or very small places at extremely high magnification) because it offers perspective. My daily mental commutes, from email to Facebook to the occasional venture into the arctic temps of Florida Location (a misnomer of gigantic proportions), involve sampling my world and measuring its affects on my life. My myopic measurements often lead me to believe that my problems have significance outside the reach of my arms, or perhaps the sound of my voice. When that happens, I sometimes share more information than friends and acquaintances really want to know. At the time, I find it significant, if not profound, and there always seems to be a soapbox handy.

I also take to heart the ramblings of other souls who broadcast their opinions to the the rest of the world, whether or not supported by facts or solid arguments. Occasionally, you will find me, waving my digital arms and asking pointed questions or pointing to fallacies in logic or facts. Over time, however, I've found that my contentious clamor does little good or only incites charged arguments based on opinion and emotion, rather than free and open discussion. I have even managed to spend less time commenting on bad grammar in Memes and rants.

I still post poems and updates like this one, because I hope someone will see what I see, or hear what I hear, and gain something from it. The Andromeda image reminds me that I am, after all, just a spark in a great conflagration -- and yet I am part of it all.

1429 -- So What?

Today is 1,429 days since my blood and marrow stem cell transplant on February 21, 2011. That gift from my brother, Kevin, has allowed me to still be here on January 20, 2015 -- the 65th anniversary of my birth. Is that cool, or what? I was reminded twice tonight (before midnight) that I actually turned 65 24 hours ago on the other side of the world. Friends in Japan and India sent birthday greetings because it was already January 20th there. It's like old age is chasing me around the globe!

My health has been generally quite good, though I grow tired of hiding inside my home so the nasty little germs don't find me so easily.


I am working on a small piece about White World -- the place my mind first went when, at 18 months old, I suffered severe burns to my hands and my feet. It's my go to place when I need to separate mind and body, usually to endure pain or escape emotional storms. I've even used it as a sensory deprivation tank, only portable and invisible. White World helped me endure, even survive some challenges in my life.

Recently, I had a dream. In my dream, I began to slip into the fringes of White World without intending to do so. Thoughts became hazy, lost in a thickening, white fog. I could find them, but it took time and extreme effort to locate and hang on to them. The white fog turned to snow, and began to settle on everything, obscuring files, images, and even recent thoughts. The books I read were covered with snow and the print was beginning to blur, even to run and become unreadable, leaving only black and blue stains on the snow-covered pages.

In the end, I was trapped in White World, as though it was a snow globe. Faces of people would hover outside the globe, their voices dull and distant, and then the snow would fall even faster, obscuring everything.

Scary, huh? I've had the dream only once, and once is enough.


I have a question: When did the f-bomb become an adjective, an adverb, a gerund, and the sole basis for much of the "humor" in social media? Is your photo or cartoon lame or boring? Add an f-bomb and lots of folks share it and like it. Is your Facebook page being ignored? Add an f-bomb to the title and folks will flock to your funky f-bombed page. Is your movie dialog stilted and unbelievable? Add ten minutes of f-bombs, and the critics will call it gritty and streetwise. Eventually, it will no longer be funny, because overuse will cause people to no longer feel nervous about reading or hearing it. It will become mainstream, and a new shock word will be found. I shudder to think what it might be, but I take solace from the thought I will be either gone from this mortal coil or so old I won't really notice.

Thanks to all to still read my updates and especially to those who send prayers and good thoughts our way.

God bless and good night,