Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Love Those Atoms You're Wearing

So Close linked to this site featuring before and after pregnancy pictures, I guess in an effort for women to feel better about themselves.

After viewing the site, I was walking the dog and listening to the following passage*. It seemed somehow relevant:

…(It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.) Yet somehow for the period of your existence they will answer to a single overarching impulse: to keep you you.

The bad news is that atoms are fickle and their time of devotion is fleeting – fleeting indeed. Even a long human life adds up to only about 650,000 hours. And when that modest milestone flashes past, or at some other point theabouts, for reasons unknown your atoms will shut you down, silently disassemble, and go off to be other things. And that’s it for you.

Still, you may rejoice that it happens at all. Generally speaking in the universe it doesn’t, so far as we can tell. This is decidedly odd because the atoms that so liberally and congenially flock together to form living things on Earth are exactly the same atoms that decline to do it elsewhere. // The only thing special about the atoms that make you is that they make you. That is of course the miracle of life.


--Bryson, Bill. A Short History of Nearly Everything. Canada: Anchor Canada, 2003. Excerpt from Introduction, pgs. 1-2.

* In other news, the string of crappy audiobooks has ended! Dog ecstatic over renewal of long walks! House possibly getting cleaned this very week! I mean, Bryson's audiobook is
17 hours long. I may shingle the roof, too.

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