Tuesday, November 8, 2016

John Bennett #8 Sunrise refracted by the lens of a life dying on Boatshed Beach, Valla

Does happiness hit while walking an empty beach,  
a tourist brochure sell and doing nothing else,
not even writing letters home, a poem or story?

John Maynard Keynes called Newton ‘the last of the magicians’. He dreamt of killing his mother and burning down their farmhouse, Woolsthorpe Manor. He was meant to farm but wouldn’t, became a surly, solitary undergraduate at Trinity College studying to become a vicar. He returned home when the Black Death closed the university. 

For nearly two years Newton lounged around the farm, reading and inventing a 'method of fluxions' (infinitesimal calculus), devising theories of light and colour and exploring the problem of gravity. Meanwhile London lay in ruins. In 1666, a year after the plague, the Great Fire spread from a bakery across thatch-rooftops and blazed out of control for four days and nights.

Numerologists had warned it was the Year of the Beast. Newton spent most of his time on alchemy and the scriptures anticipating the end: "In the Apocalypse, the world natural is represented by the Temple of Jerusalem & . . . the Sun by the bright flame of the fire of the Altar."

Ambitious enough? Superstitious enough? Studious enough?
Me? No. Thinking and writing is living, with some lounging
in that hammock on William Duffy's Farm, Pine Island.

“To make Bodies look black, it's necessary that many Rays be stopp'd, retained, and lost in them.” 

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