Point of View: Little Big Book

Temporary residents on a water spot in this vastness

I recently read Neil deGrasse Tyson’s little book on astrophysics, probably the smallest book ever written about such a vast and ever-fascinating subject. 

It’s a pity all of us can’t be astrophysicists, for then we’d never be bored, and thus we’d not spend so much time thinking of ways to kill each other or of ways in which to puff ourselves up, often at others’ expense.

I would like to think, though it may be wishful thinking, that as the universe continues to expand, my ego will continue to deflate, as certainly it should given the immeasurable (thus far at any rate) immensity in which we find ourselves, which counsels humility and wonder. 

Temporary residents on a water spot in this vastness — a blue marble when seen up close — you’d think we’d be more inclined to reconciliation than to beating our chests.

Still, wretch that I am, I can’t help but beat mine after winning a tennis match. 

Yet, as I’m about to unveil the full panoply of my tail feathers in strutting before Mary, I consider that one of my opponents recently underwent open heart surgery, that his partner not only has two knee replacements (as do I), but also a new hip and shoulder, and that my partner’s ripped rectus abdominis must be bound by a girdle, even when he’s not playing tennis.

Such thoughts tend to tampen the ego, as happens too whenever I think of solar winds and asteroids and light-years and gigantic black holes, such as the one upstairs here in the attic into which many of my negatives and contact sheets have disappeared forever. Try finding 1982, for instance. It doesn’t exist, or, if it does, it’s in a parallel universe.

Do I feel at home in our galaxy? You know, as I do on Harbor View Drive? Sometimes. And I’d like to more and more, which is why I’ve begun to read “Cosmos” again, which is wonderfully well written, by the way.

But my main preoccupation at the moment, earthbound as I am, is to learn how to keep score in pickleball. 

Winning in that sport, in contrast to tennis, seems to be less of a concern than having fun. 

Yes it’s fun. Fun all the way down.