I went to the beach the other day. Not an unusual event in and of itself. I go to the beach every second or third day. What was unusual about this particular visit was that I stumbled across a small tear in the fabric of reality. Literally stumbled. Here is what happened; I’ll leave it to you to decide what it means and how to classify it.
I was strolling down the beach, thinking about what to talk about during my presentation at an upcoming seminar in Costa Rica, when I stubbed my toe and stumbled, falling to my hands and knees in the sand. I’d had my head in the clouds; now I was definitely back on the ground. Ouch.
With some degree of annoyance (ok, I’ll admit to uttering some profanity), I got back to my feet and turned to see what had caused my fall.
Well, it was a yellow knot. Boats occasionally lose lines and they often get washed up on shore. I’ve been out on boats where such escaped lines had gotten tangled in the propeller. That really sucks. This one had gotten buried in the sand on my beach and this protruding knot was the source of my jolting discomfort.
Now, I could have simply gone on with my walk; but I didn’t. Instead, in my annoyance, I decided to pull this rope out of the sand. I can’t say what I intended to do with it once I got it free from the sand. I wasn’t entirely of sound mind at this point.
After digging and pulling for a few minutes, I had about six feet of line freed. Ropes are made of entwined strands and as I was pulling with all my might, one of these strings snapped and slapped me in the face. I let go abruptly and ended up sitting on my butt in the sand. Needless to say, I had a few more choice expletives to offer in response.
Most people would have given up at this point; (it is probably the wise choice) but I have a stubborn streak in me. I renewed my assault, digging and pulling. After several minutes of this, I had freed about twenty feet of line; and, I had also built up quite a sweat and so I stopped to catch my breath. I sat down on the sand, this time on purpose, and a degree of reason and objectivity returned. Just a degree… enough to see how funny and futile this effort was; not enough to forget the damned rope and continue my walk.
I played with the rope in my hands, examining it. It was a standard, five-strand, braided 5/8 inch, yellow mooring line, almost as common in these parts as the sand I was sitting on. As I mentioned, one of these strands had snapped. This strand itself was composed of numerous smaller strings or filaments. I rubbed this strand between my thumb and forefinger, loosening the weave of these smaller filaments. I separated one of these filaments. Please don’t ask why I was doing this. I don’t know. I was just mussing about.
This filament or mini-string was about twice as thick as a human hair. I stretched it tight, holding the broken end in my teeth and the other still entwined end in my left hand and plucked it. “Twang” sounded a small but distinct note. Cool. I did it again. “Twong” it sounded.
“Watcha doin?” a small voice queried.
Startled out of my reverie, I turned to stare into the amazingly beautiful face of a dreadlocked child. Four, maybe five years old. I was sitting. He was standing and we were eye to eye. He smiled.
“Playing’” I answered, smiling back.
“Do again,” he commanded.
I grabbed the filament, bit down on the end and plucked. Everything shimmered. The boy giggled and shook his head. The beads braided into his dreadlocked tresses rattled. I plucked. “Twong!!” Again the world shimmered. Again, the beads rattled. Half a dozen times, we played this improvised beach harmony.
And then it came to me… I would talk about Superstrings, super-symmetry and the symphony of thoughts that create our reality.
“Fun,” said my little friend.
“Yes, it is” I agreed.
My little messenger ran off down the beach. I got up and walked into the sea to float on my back, stare at the sky and work out the thread of my talk.