Tomorrow I change countries and go to Vienna, where I’ll get some precious time with Naomi who is in Austria for the next year (follow her here), and enjoy some sight-seeing in a new place with Amy – my best friend from sixth form.
Presently I am at Amy’s house, sat on her bedroom floor whilst she is out babysitting. My mind is wandering, and I am thinking about how big the universe is, and how it is also not.
This started because, earlier, Amy and I thought about how strange it is that there are photos of us that exist that we don’t know about. Photos where we feature as passersby. Or photos that are up on the walls of friends’ homes for which we have forgotten the occasions of. Photos on misplaced USB sticks and SD cards. Faded photos down the back of sofas. Suddenly, the universe seems big.
It just seems so incomprehensible that I cannot even get a hold of my own self, contain my own being. That I have no handle on the simple thing of how many photos exist bearing my image.
I think about the smallness of the patch of earth my feet stand on, while the stars extend in infinite space above. The universe seems big.
I am lead to look up the following image:
It is a photo I took of a blue-bottle at the end of a bench, the Bank Holiday Monday of August this year. At the time, I couldn’t remember that it was called a blue-bottle, so I called it ‘an iridescent fly’ in my head, and sat wondering at it’s colours, and marveling at how it kept circling and then returning to the same spot at the end of the bench.
I often think about how useless I would be if the world depended on the knowledge I possess. I do not even know the mechanisms that are behind the workings of a blue-bottle. Again, the universe seems big.
Then I remember a thought one of the kids shared with Neil on the camp where he was leading. One of the boys had thought about the tree that Jesus was crucified on, that Jesus and the Father would have known this tree, even for all of time, and watched it grow. This, I think, is a big thought.
I am then bemused – by how many thoughts I am yet to have, and that I have thought back to the moment in time that Jesus was crucified many times but never once dwelled upon That Tree.
The universe seems big.
And yet, I think, all things are united in the love that God is, the love shared in Jesus and the Father, the largest and most steadfast of loves. This Love, the love found in the gospels, unites all things.
The universe seems a little less big.
Because, if all things are united as being part of God’s creation, then I am united with That Tree. For I too have been known, even for all of time. And Jesus and the Father watch, with love, as I grow.
Ah, I think, The universe is big, but it is also not.
I am thinking about a tree.