Man has not yet conquered time and space.
In fact it is unlikely that he ever will.
His approach to intergalactic travel is to burn tonnes of liquefied dinosaur in huge rockets in a furious attempt to build up enough speed to loose the bounds of gravity. So far, he’s thrown some metal objects away from the planet, sent a few people to his own planet’s solitary satellite and lots of folk have gone for a quick spin in orbit.
Interplanetary travel it ain’t. Describing me chucking a ball of paper in the bin as ‘intercontinental’ gives you some idea of how close we are to intergalactic.
Even in his fantasies Man talks about harnessing great power to achieve ‘warp drive’ and conquer the vastness of space.
Spacetime doesn’t want to be conquered.
Spacetime is not ‘all about straight line speed.’
She is curved. Pliable. Unbreakable strong and exquisitely beautiful.
To the meek she is terrifying, perhaps a vengeful goddess. She encloses us, we are of her and we cannot bend her to our will by force.
By force no. Of course not.
What idiot man ever thought he could persuade a strong woman by blunt force ? She might let him play at boss for a while, but she will not give way to mere push.
No, to overcome the forces of Spacetime and truly cross galaxies we need someone who understands how to exert great influence, not just smash her with brutality.
Jen’s approach was novel. To be honest, Jen was pretty novel for an astrophysicist. For a start, she didn’t expound her theories on blackboards or whiteboards or cover the walls of a lecture theatre with mathematical hieroglyphics. Jen wove her theories with multi-coloured threads and her studio was filled with origami models and swatches marked with galaxy beads.
I’m not sure I fully understand everything she was doing, but the general gist of it seems to be that instead of trying to accelerate our way across the warp of the universe, we should be folding the universe onto itself, and so reduce the distance we have to travel to a little hop across the weft.
“The trick,” Jen said, “is to know where to fold so you don’t disrupt Spacetime too much. If She feels crumpled She tends to shake out the crease and smooth Herself down.”
The best science doesn’t look like science at all. It looks like art.
On the wall in Jen’s studio is her masterpiece. A handmade tapestry of Spacetime. A flowing run of thread and beads representing everything she knew about the fabric of our being.
On it are long chalk lines – the kind of line a seamstress makes on a piece of cloth she’s going to work. Chalk lines sweeping across the universe – origami folds planned on a grand scale.
That’s how we found it anyway. We stood there, just gazing at its beauty for hours, wondering where the hell she’d gone.
A #FairytaleFriday story inspired by the keyword ‘weft’