Academic journal article The Journal of Baha'i Studies

Elegy for the Old Thinking

Academic journal article The Journal of Baha'i Studies

Elegy for the Old Thinking

Article excerpt

When the theoretical physicist explains

that he's found the same self-correcting codes

in nature that run a browser,

I imagine the forsythia at my window

administers a program for when to bloom

or drop its leaves. Gravity's the odd man out,

which is to say that the apple will fall to ground

as long as moon orbits earth. I tell my baby

that the stars in the sky are not just lights

but places to go. The theoretical physicist says

he was only trying to solve some problems

that no one thought there were answers for.

He says learning supersymmetry is a bit

like having babies: you focus on the benefits,

not the pain. I think about the loss

of my childless life, and then, all of the times

I thought I was essential before.

Maybe that's the real loss. Outside my window,

the branches and roots cancel out each other,

so all I see are electric yellow blossoms

framed in green frond. When you ask a physicist

a question he'll give you a number and the range

of uncertainty. If you ask me how old

my daughter is, I'll say 12 weeks, two days,

but if I count back to conception, she's a full year,

maybe 384 days, a range of uncertainty implied

by my use of maybe. …

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