Mont Aguille
by David Cale

The mountain rears proud
like a ships prow
cutting through countless dawns
Sun warmed or storm wracked
mute testimony
to the tectonic brooding
of the planet below our feet

I am tempted to feel small

But a mountain is just a mountain
not a comment on me
In some way that would be more vain

And now a science rant

The mountain and I and you are made of the same atoms that were born in the heart of some super giant star that supernovaed about 5 billion years ago.  Every atom we are made of other than the hydrogen atoms was manufactured in that (and maybe a few other stars). The atoms from Beryllium to Iron were made during the stars short life (10-100 million years, our sun being small and relatively cool will last another 5 billion years ... whew) the rest of the atoms in our world, the bigger heavier ones, and thus us were made when the star supernovaed e.g. Gold, Silver, Lead, Uranium, etc. That means we are all made of "star material"

All those atoms are actually made of only 3 simple particles electrons, up quarks, and down quarks... 2 up q and a down make a proton and 2 downs and an up make a neutron. So the mountain above and our bodies are really just made of these three things. Not only that but when we try to look at these three particles of which everything is made we find they are not solid but are just a type of condensed energy.

Ultimately all we and the mountain and the sun and the stars are just energy and information giving that energy form and in our case (only one wonders after Sept. 11) intelligence.

So what am "I"? I cannot ask the mountain as it knows no more or less than I do.  (there is great mystery in physics and spiritual knowledge is not precluded)

Used with permission

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