Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Leaf and Me

The Hubble space telescope focuses on distant galaxies and astronomers see our Sun in another 4 billion years. I look out the window and spy a mystery in my swimming pool: A flat leaf floating on the surface of the water casting a grape-clustered shadow on the bottom of the pool.

I am neither an astronomer nor a botonist, but I knew the tiny lens on my Kodak camera could record the mystery.

How can a spade like leaf cast such a shadow? What properties reside in the water? the leaf? and the sun? Where is the closest physicist with an answer?

Despite my ignorance, I like the geometries of this composition. The triangulation between the leaf, the shadow, and the camera lens takes me along a deep space route to a shadowy nebula. Even the cracks in the pool light up like runway lights pointing the way.

And then there's that guy over there, out in nebula space, with the shadowy camera. Looking over a high wall at parallel worlds? A reflection of the viewer who is seeing and being seen?

I love a good mystery.

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