Wednesday, December 2, 2015

May the Force Be with You!

The new Star Wars movie will be released on December 16th, and advance sales are sizzling. The force featured in the movie will not be gravity. As Einstein proved 100 years ago this month, gravity is not a force. It is a feature of the space-time continuum. 

I've read a number of articles on this anniversary of Einstein's lectures on his theory of General Relativity. I cannot say I understand it at an intuitive, or even vaguely intellectual, level. This description by the physicist John Wheeler does help: "Space-time tells matter how to move; matter tells space-time how to curve." 

General Relativity explains black holes, which have event horizons. They provided me with a metaphor for being stuck in a destructive relationship and inspiration for my favorite poem from my recent self-published collection.

Event Horizon

An event horizon is a strange and lonely place to live.
You balance on the rim of emotional annihilation.
Observers beyond the boundary detect
only shadows of your sadness and isolation.

Your fears, self-doubt and memories create
the fierce gravitational pull of your present life.
Your stubborn resilience powers
your impulse to break free.

Stuck between opposing forces,
You bide your time, on the lookout for a wormhole
to fall through, spiraling through space-time
to a liberating region of the universe.

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