Crumples and Dies: Eschaton, the End of the Age
“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” (Mark 13:31-33 KJV)
Probably no immediate cause for alarm, but startling to read what evidently is the far end of Time, which isn’t going to last forever as blithely we thought. And apparently the Father isn’t the only one who knows when after all: scientist have a yardstick on Time, the stable earth, the deep salt sea.
Tucked away in Delanceyplace this morning, an extract from The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science (Natalie Angier 2007), discussing yoctoseconds and zeptoseconds. “By contrast, our seemingly indomitable Earth has completed a mere 5 times 10 to the 9th power orbits around the sun in its 5 billion years of existence, and is expected to tally up only maybe another 10 billion laps before the solar system crumples and dies. ... In a very real sense then our solar system is far less 'stable' than particles like the heavy quark.”
I’ve wondered what this seaside stretch of St. Andrews, Florida from Frankford Avenue to Bayview Avenue was like two thousand years ago when those feet in ancient time were walking upon England’s mountain green. And I often wonder what it will be like in a hundred years, and a thousand and ten thousand: peace and goodwill, or will earth and sky be dark and hopeless as Cormac McCarthy graphically has it in The Road, unspeakable savagery and the sea gray and lifeless, even my Bay. Or green and lush, taken over by vines and growth, crumbled, disintegrated, swallowed up and gone as in that TV miniseries Life After People. After eons, unearthed by curious alien pilgrims from a far galaxy.
But I see my house, in even better shape today than when first built over a century ago, still standing in 2115 and looking out across St. Andrew Bay, beyond Davis Point and Shell Island, to the sea. And remembering.
To Puddleglum and the children in the underworld on Aslan’s quest for Rilian, "That is old Father Time, who was once a King in Overland. Now he has sunk down into the Deep Realm and lies dreaming of all the things that are done in the upper world. Many sink down and few return to the sunlit lands. They say he will wake at the end of the world."
T +Time and counting
The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia