per·i·pa·tet·ic
ˌperēpəˈtedik/
adjective
  1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
    Aristotelian.
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moon to Earth: Testing 1, 2, 3?


Tuesday, in case you didn't know, was a full moon day. Nothing out of the ordinary. A full moon appears with great regularity. If it didn't, we'd be in a boatload of trouble. Tides wouldn't occur as scheduled. The whole rhythm of the planet would be off, and time wouldn't occur as we know it. The moon has such an effect on the Earth that the rate at which we are spinning around the sun is slowing ever so gradually while the moon's rotation is accelerating. According to this site, nineplanets.org, it's only about 1.5 milliseconds per century, but the moon is ascending to a higher orbit at the rate of 3.8 cm per year. The Earth is in a constant state of torque, thanks to the moon.


As SAM was leaving for work Tuesday morning, the sun's appearance on the eastern horizon was heralded--or was it eclipsed?--by the setting of the moon in the western sky. The sight of it was just too beautiful to ignore.


Tuesday evening, I was sharing a meal with a group of people. We were celebrating the end of one term and looking forward to the beginning of another. One of the women in the group asked me how I had done on a test the night before. I had missed one question. I hate you, she said. Really? No. She laughed. She didn't mean it. Still, the words somehow stung. Should I fail so that someone else can feel good about herself?


Last week, another woman in our group started a lively discussion with one of those "what if" questions. She asked us if we (the women in the group) would be willing to carry someone else's baby (an implanted embryo, previously frozen) if the mother of the egg and the father of the sperm were unable to conceive in the usual fashion. While we puzzled over the question, she added that allowing the pregnancy to proceed would keep the embryo from being discarded. Various opinions were voiced, and even the instructor chimed in. An Arab-American and devout Muslim, he agreed with me that life is sacred but added that it would be foolish and just plain wrong for a woman to carry someone else's baby inside of her womb. If the real parents could not have a child in the normal way, it must be some kind of test for them. Warping their usual orbit around each other. Making life just a little less harmonious, synchronicity askew. Causing them to ask. Why?

Life does that to us. Torquing, twisting, testing...1, 2, 3. I remember my dad, with a wry smile, asking, Why me, Lord? whenever something bad happened to him. He used to tell a joke about a nice guy named Marvin whose whole world began to fall apart around him. Marvin would ask the Lord why? but was always met with silence. His friends had plenty of reasons why and weren't shy about sharing them. They thought Marvin had become such a loser because he had done something wrong. Marvin kept denying it and proclaimed his innocence. No one believed him. According to the joke, not even the Lord did. Finally, the Lord spoke to Marvin and his friends. There's just something about you, Marvin, that really pisses me off.

My dad usually had a great sense of humor, but I never thought that joke was funny. It's a perversion of the book of Job in the Bible. The part about the friends is true and so is Job's claim of innocence. I guess it's difficult to believe that anyone could be that righteous. Unstained. Faithful. Impossible? Why?

If I have put my trust in gold
   or said to pure gold, 'you are my security,'
if I have rejoiced over my great wealth,
   the fortune my hands had gained,
if I have regarded the sun in its radiance
   or the moon moving in splendor,
so that my heart was secretly enticed
   and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,
then these also would be sins to be judged,
   for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.

If I have rejoiced at my enemy's misfortune
   or gloated over the trouble that came to him---
I have not allowed my mouth to sin
   by invoking a curse against his life---

(Book of Job, 31:24-30) 



11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hello

    Thank you so much for this thought-provoking post, W2W! The first photo of the moon is so beautiful! I love it! Wasn't it difficult to take the picture of this fantastic Moon?

    Reading Job, 31:24-30, you find the words "sin" and "sins" . I sometimes think about how different Buddhism views on sin are from Christianity views. And the two religious traditions differ in cosmology... I don't say about which is superior or something like that.
    Whenever I was in adversity, I was reminded of the Job's life of hardship.

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  3. Stunning moon shot and interesting discussion. Thanks.

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  4. Beautiful shots of the moon! My daughter-in-law was watching it anxiously--she's 9 months pregnant and hoping the full moon would help her to go into labor, but no such luck. This baby doesn't pay attention to phases of the moon, apparently:)

    The age-old question of why bad things happen to good people will never be answered in this world, I'm afraid.

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  5. Amazing moon shots! We've been admiring the moon too in Maine. Tough questions too.

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  6. I guess I would carry a child if it was my sister of someone very close. But not a stranger.
    Interesting topic!
    I so love this song. Thanks for sharing. I love the BNL.

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  7. Sapphire, thanks for your input. I'm glad that Job is a good study even for someone with a different belief system. A lot of it has to do with how people perceive good or bad fortune, the worth of human life, the value of friendship. Timeless topics, all of them.

    You're welcome, TB. Glad you liked it.

    Rose, has she tried something energetic? My husband convinced me to play "horse," a type of basketball game, when my due date came around, and nothing seemed to be happening. I went into labor the next day. I hope everything goes smoothly for your new grandchild. Congrats!

    Hi, Sarah! I'll have to get over and see what's happenin' in Maine. Thanks for stopping by.

    Rosey, my response to the question was something like yours. It would be weird to carry the child of someone you don't know. Maybe a good idea for a futuristic story? You know, I hadn't really listened much to BNL, but this song isn't too bad.

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  8. So Walk2Write, this post has three things..First I'm surprised at ur knowledge regarding Astronomy, which was my favorite subject during school times..that moon pix were wonderful..

    The second one is regarding the renting of wombs..There was a film made several years before (20 or more), in my native language which was about this case u jus mentioned..

    And thank you for making me remember those verses from the Book of Job, which I had nearly forgotten.

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  9. argh--LOL!!! That Marvin joke cracked me up. I'm sorry. :o| *snort* :D

    I play that "what if" game sometimes. Not a good game, I think. But look at that MOON! And you got some GREAT shots of it! Mine never come out that good. ... take it easy, honey~ <3

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  10. You have such an interesting, weaving way of posting...an art all unto itself!!! This is a fun, thought provoking post.

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