THE NEW PHYSICS
for Fritjof Capra
And so, the closer he looks at things, the farther away they seem. At dinner, after a hard day at the universe, he finds himself slipping through his food. His own hands wave at him from beyond a mountain of peas. Stars and planets dance with molecules on his fingertips. After a hard day with the universe, he tumbles through himself, flies through the dream galaxies of his own heart. In the very presence of his family he feels he is descending through an infinite series of Chinese boxes.
This morning, when he entered the little broom-closet of the electron looking for quarks and neutrinos, it opened into an immense hall, the hall into a plain – the Steppes of Mother Russia! He could see men hauling barges up the river, chanting faintly for their daily bread. It’s not that he longs for the old Newtonian Days, although something of plain matter and simple gravity might be reassuring, something of the good old equal-but-opposite forces. And it’s not that he hasn’t learned to balance comfortably on the see-saw of paradox. It’s what he sees in the eyes of his children –the infinite black holes, the ransomed light at the center.