Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Power and Chance

As I've been blogging less, I do believe I've been thinking more.  I've had some big thoughts.

One big thought is about the incredible unlikeliness of our very existence.  I'm not a numbers person, so it's more a concept than a precise calculation.  It is wildly rare in the known universe to find a planet so conducive to life as our Earth.  Even Earth hasn't always been so habitable.  And where other planets might foster life forms,  it's a very small chance that the life would even slightly resemble ours.  It so happens that there are billions of humans on Earth.  We are extremely complex fragile beings, with whom a million things could go wrong.  Forces from inside and outside of us threaten our survival daily.  You have enough experience to know how rare it is for two people to meet and be fond of and attracted to one another. Even if their stars align and they make love, what are the chances they are fertile?  What are the myriad obstacles to conception?  And to one out millions of sperm cells being the one?  And every generation before us was more or less equally a long shot.  It's no wonder people like to gamble.  Every one of us has won something so much bigger and better than the lottery.

I painted the Pasadena power plant.  There isn't a lot of industrial subject matter around where I live, and I think I'm drawn to it, if only for variety.  Inexplicably, there is some unusual and very pretty landscaping around the power plant, and not just around the parts you can see, but on this little dead-end cul-de-sac, where almost nobody has much business.


  1. Lovely work Barbara! For me it is mind boggling to think, much easier if I accept that destiny rules over everything and there is no chance existing.

  2. Good to find someone thinking, or at least asking questions. Many consider it work & rather be entertained. I think if the Universe is truly billions & billions of years old - aged - then perhaps what we see in it is all lifeless as we know it. And we're the only & last remaining life in the Universe - the last chance for this creation experiment to get it right.

    Back here on Earth, I noticed our power plant as I exited the FW the other day. You make it look prettier than it actually is! Maybe you were there that day as well!

  3. Barbara, I always love your thoughts and your paintings! Fun morning painting there!

  4. This is the first time I've ever thought the power plant was pretty.

    I like your theory about gambling.

  5. I'm not sure if it's the encoded gambling gene or the optimist gene. Such as the idea that we will always win - and come out on top - and make things not happen by ignoring them. I love your quirky perception of the universe. Your tops with Beckynot, and Patrizzi intergalactic for embracing the skewered perspective.