11th entry to the Colonel`s Scrapbook
On Principles and Principia
On a day like today
1810 Phineas Taylor Barnum was born in Bethel Conn, circus promoter (Barnum & Bailey).he was a pioneer of modern show business and the proud owner of the Biggest, Prettiest and Most Profitable Elephant of All Times, JUMBO
1687 Virgin Isaac Newton's PRINCIPIA was published by Royal Society in England, and ever since his laws get applied to all kind of nonsense and good sense
Venezuela : Independence Day (1811) Bolívar has severed the umbilical cord , but later he would regret all his sacrifices when he was spewing out his lungs with TB, reminding us that Latin America is an unruly and frightful place and the only thing ado here is to emigrate. Poor chap. All that sweat for nothing.
I have always felt a special fascination towards Sir Isaac Newton, the scientist which gave us the laws of gravity and therefore set us going in such diverse directions that nowadays we can apply them even to our cat`s tail,or to tears that sometimes alchemize themselves into peals of laughter. Each one is the owner and animal of his or her own circus, as Phineas T Barnum, who was born a day like today, could tell you. So today I am an old African witch doctor smelling of incense and fresh tobacco smoke from the memory of my Dad`s cigar, and I throw in a little sigh that no one ever is aware of, a few ounces of relief and the fact that I feel better from my dwindling flu. Perhaps it is the fact that today I have felt an almost imperceptible softening of that quartz and basalt monument inside my chest that a man in love could call heart, and I have spilled a little kindness to even those who try to order me around despite the fact that I will always be my own army general.
I see one eyebrow riding high over your glasses. Madam, what will you give us today. Isaac Newton`s long blond hair will now fascinate you more than my dark tresses? No, pearl of my wisdom, parure of my imagination, not exactly. How can someone so peerless ever doubt? And show not this only to a friend if you wish because you may be astounded by the vocabulary. Share it so everyone can know how loved you are, gentle reader, shadow of my smile. Not magic nor wizardry, but life that springs from itself to go to itself, everything we do will always retake us back to the man who would have discovered aspirin instead of the laws of gravity if pumpkins had grown on trees and one would have stricken him on the head instead of a simple apple. The day I met Sir Isaac in the classroom was a remarkable one, because thanks to his laws I would find logic to many things later to happen in my life, including the fact that I was privileged enough to find you.
Take for example LAW I, that states that “Every body perseveres in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed thereon.” Perhaps Barry Manilow explained it better and more musically in a hit that he sang in the late seventies when I was growing up,·You remind me I live in s shell, safe from th e past and doing okay but not very well…” Did I really think I had it all in order?Unruffled waters, my San Juan River still in my border lap, comfy boots so I need to have asked for another pair, cats who didn`t shit on top of my luxurious quilt? A trip on fixed day to the bank, yes, ma`am- In steady motion, from corner to block from here to there. The force impressed thereupon this object in motion that I was came out of the blue, a signal under the bluest part of the camouflage within my sleeve, the slight brushing of an accidental angel wing. Why did I answer? What was knocking at the steel and crystal doors? But the end result was that I had a reply, and this reply has lead me to unending questions and even more answers which I didn`t know were replies by themselves. Will someday all this enthusiasm of changing motions, moving gears, ever fizz out? Could it have happened before without realizing it myself?But here we are, moving at the speed of dragonfly`s wings. Which brings us flat into LAW II, in which we hear Newton stating that the alteration of motion is ever proportional to the motive force impressed; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impressed. so in plain old English if any force generates a motion, a double force will generate double the motion, a triple force
Can that explain the fact that a person can feel that a name can send his heart skipping into the happiest hopscotch of his o r her life, and the more she smiles the happier she feels?
The way we look at our own reality when we apply these laws existing in Principia! Can we say that even our principles that we have harboured since earliest childhood suddenly twist and trip and stumble and fall?
Which brings us to LAW III, which is that to every action there is always opposed an equal reaction; or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts. Don`t I understand what virgin Isaac said here! Particularly now, when I am undergoing a metamorphosis worse than the one the Jewish Czech writer Frank Kafka cooked up for the book of the same name. You know what I mean. And at the same time that a flow of hot effervescent blood stumbles and sings through a circulatory system infected with the unbearable virus of joy, the anguished mind and the frightened logic spin the equal and opposite reaction. This cannot be happening to me. The antibodies of reasoning work hard not to die in the battle against the essence of glee. Flee, escape, before you have said too much or felt the same, you are still on time before the vertiginous snapdoor of commitment locks you in, before the unquenchable thirst as if for Cocacola, wrings its gossamer fingers around your senses. Yes, every time you felt like holding on, the dark side of the moon that lives behind your temple also wold whistled at you and whispered in complicity that you could still get out.
Let me ask Isaac if he ever felt a whirlwind of iridescent leaves twirling around the nimble feet of summer, was there ever a tiptoeing moon coming through the window to lay by his white immaculate pillow and softly, so gently stroke his flowering temple? Maybe he can give us both an explanation for all those sensations of having seen it all before. Did he feel as much as ease as I do yarning with you when he was the Master of the Mint and ever. curious and evil-smelling Tsar Peter the Great came to ask him for a full explanation on how the coins were manufactured. Was there a subrepticious hand up anyone`s knee? Peter was so unprejudiced… and may life or history forgive my speculations. I guess there must have been some kind of chemistry that kept them chatting like old hens in a nest that day. Now, I do understand that feeling even if I poke fun at Isaac, whom I adore because he also invented the cat trapdoor so felines could go and come as they pleased without having to yowl at his door when he was busy or sleeping.
.Gravity, the blessed pull of gravity, the force that makes us hold our feet on to the ground,
The anchor needed to hook our dreams to reality, but to be lifted by the imagination so the ship of our desires can finally navigate. It had to be Newton the one to discover its laws. Did he understand the game of attraction so well? Could he have changed the term gravity for infatuation, because the pull is as strong, as constant, as insistent? All the mechanics of moving bodies apply to science and limerence. Exactly the same, don`t give or take anything. The rest is not a question of Newton`s Principia. Just a question of our principles, and if we want to forget them, there we go for better, for worse. Or for rapture.
The Principia brought Newton fame, publicity, and financial security. It established him, at the age of 45, as one of the greatest scientists in history. Happiness? I don`t think he ever was happy, as in fairy tales. But now I know that happiness also has its our motions and engines, and it is up to us to do anything possible and impossible to nab a touch from the skin of an angel.