Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Power and Chance
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.