Category Archives: Science

From Water Muse to the First Law of Thermodynamics

It has been two months since Chris died. In that time, I’ve done a lot of crying, grieving, and thinking. The water muse post of a couple days ago was sparked by a friend, and remembering the water muse I used to claim lived in my shower. Chris told me there was science behind that, and I looked it up. It’s really cool.

Like energy, water already exists in one form or another. It can’t be created from nothing. It can’t be destroyed. Consider the fact that the human body is more than 60% water. Blood is 92% water. OurĀ brains and muscles are 75% water. Bones, believe it or not, are about 22% water. So if we are made of these things that can’t be destroyed, only changed, doesn’t that mean…something?

“We are stardust.” Chris and I had that discussion once. We spent a whole lot of time together in the car, in a gajillion waiting rooms, at home, and had some really great discussions. I keep thinking about the way he felt about death, that we don’t cease to exist but simply change form in some way. I dig the science behind it, and I can see where this primordial knowledge bound in energy and water might get translated into God and angles, ghosts and even zombies. In my last post, I said I was more a creature of whimsy than science, but I find that’s not actually true. I need science to back my whimsy. I might run with it, and turn a gathering of negative ions into a water spirit, but I can do that because I know the science behind it.

Blind faith. I can’t do it. I don’t claim to know any certain truth about whether or not there is an entity we call God/dess, but I am certain that there isn’t a single person, ever, who is capable of truly understanding the mysteries of our universe. Blind faith is required, and I just don’t have that in me. Whatever is out there, in here, is unfathomable. A nebulous force. A single entity. A collective consciousness. For all we know, our entire universe exists as a complex cell in some greater being’s hand. There are more synapses in a human brain than there are stars in the sky. Can you even fathom that? Then what makes anyone think they can contemplate the universe and come up with any one truth? That’s when the hands go over the ears, the eyes close, and “la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you!” comes out of mouths.

Before Chris died, I was content to admit I don’t know and never will. Modesty is for suckers, yes, but I’m not a fool either. I accept my human shortcomings and live life the best way I know how, trusting that whatever force is at work in the universe, sentient or not, isn’t going to hold my lack of understanding against me.

Since Chris died, more so than when Brian died, I have better come to understand why people cling to religion and God/dess and the blind faith necessary to accept. I can understand the need for that sort of peace. And I understand the very human need to believe in facts handed down by some higher authority. It lets us bypass the unknown, the unfathomable. “They” understand, and that’s enough for many. I wish it were enough for me. It’s not. There’s something to this “energy cannot be destroyed,” thing. I believe that it means my son moved on, became part of something bigger. I believe in the universe, that there is more to it all that meets the eye. I have also learned, truly learned, to never say never, and that even having answers doesn’t change the fact that I miss him. I miss his hugs. His smile. I even miss his chaos. Anything is better than the hole punched through my being.

This is all leading me to another thought, about love. I think I’ll let it marinate a while, see what comes of it.

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Of Water Muses and Immortality

(First in a series of thoughts leading to thoughts.)

Water. We are from it. We are of it. Life began in the sea.

It’s no wonder we humans are inspired by water. I’ve often said I have a water muse living in my shower. All my best stories come to me there. Bits and pieces work themselves out. Raising four children, I attributed it, at least in part, to being the only time I was truly alone with my thoughts. As it turns out, there is science behind it. (Thank you, Christofer!) Negative ions.

Among other things, negative ions…

  • enhance mood
  • stimulate senses
  • improve appetite and sexual drive
  • stimulate the reticuloendothelial system (a group of defense cells that enhance our disease resistance.)
  • promote alpha brain waves and increased brain wave amplitude, resulting in a higher awareness level.
  • enable the body to better absorb oxygen into the blood cells
  • oxidize serotonin
  • filter airborne contaminants, thus providing relief for things like allergies

Cool, huh? There’s more. Ion counts in fresh (ie, the country) air isĀ 2,000-4,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter (pcc.) “City air” can have less than 100 negative ions pcc. I guess getting out to the country isn’t just about avoiding traffic. Now consider that at a large water fall you can find 100,000 or more negative ions pcc. The water muse is born!

I’m not alone in feeling more creative in or around water. In fact, this blog post was sparked by a friend who said much the same thing. Most people feel more mentally and physically refreshed by being near the ocean, a waterfall, or even, like me, taking a shower. It’s not a coincidence. All of these areas have a higher concentration of negative ions to positive ions. It is the force (aka, energy) of the falling or splashing water that causes neutral particles of air to split, freeing electrons that attach to other air molecules causing a negative charge. All this “good energy” flying about makes us feel all around better, more creative, more positive.

Have I lost you? Cool as it is, it does get rather technical. I am a creature of more whimsy than science, myself. We are indeed creatures of the water, made of so much water bound into bodies with only so much time as such. When I’m sitting by the sea, overwhelmed by words, characters, stories, emotions making my fingers itch, I’m more in the mind that there are freewater spirits splashing out of the ocean, speaking to those bound within me. “We’re here! Waiting! Boundless and wild! Come hear our stories. Take them back with you. Go ahead, it’s fine. We have lots more.”

All the water that will ever exist in the world always has in some form or another. It always will. Like energy, it can’t just vanish. It only changes form. Maybe the water inside me now was once part of a great, primordial ocean on a distant planet. Or raindrops that filled it. Or the ice on a comet. Amazing, right? Fantastical! So, then is it really such a stretch to imagine these negative ions as water spirits instead? What the hell, right? Science and whimsy enhance one another. It’s mutual respect that makes it all work.

I have more thoughts that lead to other thoughts on this. I guess you can figure out where they will lead. But that’s another blog post, for another time.

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