The Astronomer and the Art Critic Look Through Telescopes on a Cold Winter Night

“And it doesn’t matter if it’s all a figment of my imagination, your imagination, the Jungian collective unconscious imagination, a Matrix- like illusion. We still have the sense that we’re here! And… nothing about it  makes sense to me until I appreciate how it has a beautiful metaphorical or figurative aspect to it… a sense of a sufficiently plausible and orderly enough…unity… and hypothetical premise…” the astronomer Dr. Jasmine Taffa began.[1]

“Right, unity and orderly enough hypothetical premise…,” her best friend, the art critic Tiffany Kang interjected… 

What the bloody heck were they talking about? While looking through Jasmine’s golden, computerized telescopes, (though three of them were a spangled cranberry red, two were black with pictures of planets on them, and four were a dark blue) gazing at planets, stars, and the moon, on the balcony of Jasmine’s mountaintop house.

Jasmine very much so wanted not simply THIS house on the mountain, but for years craved the own a mountain home for, above all other reasons, the luxury of gazing, as often as she could, at outer space, through her many computerized telescopes which were the best which money could buy and which technology could produce.

It was a “modern” looking house and if I may make a Balzac inspired remark (I hope to integrate this into my own way of describing THINGS…): the house made its owners Jasmine Taffa and Kelly Riss– and many others including those who considered buying it and those who visited) feel a sense of brand-newness and personal makeover, like one just got one’s haircut, like one just bought a new car and new shoes (both which have smells of distinct newness, would you agree?) or like one bought the new MacBook Pro or Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (I myself anxiously await possession of both, and then possession of the next most advanced; my art critic Tiffany Kang understands; she too possesses the capacity to appreciate beautiful technological products… one might think Jasmine did as well, but with the exception of her house, its interior design, and her telescopes, she actually learned towards a more minimalist and certainly not technology crazed lifestyle. ((Now, please don’t misunderstand: she wasn’t a luddite! But unlike her dear friend, and I, she didn’t crave the absolute best and latest in technology; affordable to the lower-middle class, and made within the last three years or so tended to suffice for her…))

In this beautiful modern house’s open concept styled living room one could see without looking too long there was a wide frameless sliding window (or so it was termed by the designer; but I believe more accurately ought to be referred to as a rather massively-wide frameless sliding picture window; then again, neither designing nor shopping for these sorts of things is my forte so what do I know?). The view in itself, I mean, as such, of the balcony and ITS view were maximized by this fixture as if via a massive movie theater style projector screen. 

And from the view of that balcony? On a clear night, lots of sparkling stars above, with fields and shorter hills, and taller mountains out yonder, some of which encompassed the rural suburban municipality of Zepper, New Jersey, and the rest of which encompassed the miscellaneous North-West-ish mountainous and ruralish area of the state.

…so there she was, Miss Jasmine (as I shall call her on this occasion), with her best friend Tiffany, at 10:03pm, on an extremely cold winter night—indeed…it was a cruel, dry, bitter, whipping, smarting and fullmoutofteeth biting 12 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of negative 7 degrees F. That was quite fine though because these two ladies tended to fancy the cold. ((The sometimes slightly kinky Tiffany could find cold erotic sometimes and liked to play with ice sometimes…sometimes also she liked to feel the drip of burning wax on her chest, stomach, or thighs…(((that experiment had been inspired by the movie Body of Evidence with Madonna)))… …)); Anyway, the two ladies liked the cold most of all because the stimulus of the cold feeling permeating the depths of their nerves like water permeates a paper towel cleaning a spill, “helped them think.” They had even discussed the prospect of taking a trip, the two of them and their spouses, one day, to Antarctica. Naji—Tiffany’s husband hated the cold and protested against the prospect. He did believe in the saying though, “happy wife, happy life” and so while he expressed his lack of enthusiasm their going was not an impossibility. Jasmine’s wife, Kelly, being a professor of geography, would travel virtually anywhere with extreme excitement. Really, the only places Kelly didn’t fancy the idea of traveling to were autocratic, totalitarian theocratic[2] or violent ones.

Keeping at least warm “enough” in their thick winter coats, they were discussing a notion which they believed could help serve as reconciling the sense of dichotomy between the “STEM” cliques and the “Liberal Arts” cliques. One connection between the two worlds which arose was the often shared beliefs in chaos; I don’t, myself… believe in chaos that is, and neither did Jasmine, nor did Tiffany but they did share a belief in the notion of…to borrow wording from Dr. John Parras’s flash fiction piece “emoticon” in reference to Pollock and Kandinsky…their “beautiful chaos”… … these two ladies, they didn’t “believe in chaos” in the sense of chaos being a religion but they appreciated that chaos could in certain contexts be very beautiful… they both had agreed in the midst of countless (by this point) conversations, this was when…and only when a THING was still in its MYSTICAL state– when one look at something one didn’t know a bloody parcel about; “but then,” as Jasmine had put it once, “the mystical state… with knowledge becomes a more and more hypothetically clarified and ordered state…”


[1]To be a little specific, Jasmine’s “niche-specialty-expertise” was physical cosmology” OR… to be even MORE SPECIFIC YET… “cosmic inflation” and multiverse theory… ; earlier work included research on the moon and Mars and some papers on the prospects of terraforming. Though more interested at this time in the most fundamental aspects of the multiverse’s nature (to use the term “origin” would not quite be proper since Jasmine didn’t believe in the idea that the big bang was an “origin” or “beginning” (for it did not make any sense to her how a “non-existent” entity such as the pre-existing universe, could suddenly “originate” as if from nothing—utter contradiction in terms—as Dr. Nathaniel Branden, the psychologist and philosopher who could not remain on good terms with Ayn Rand, put it in Ayn Rand’s The Objectivist Newsletter in May of 1962, awhile before the two parted ways: “To demand a cause for all of existence is to demand a contradiction: if the cause exists, it is a part of existence, if it does not exist, it cannot be a cause. Nothing cannot be the cause of something. Nothing does not exist. Causality presupposed existence, existence does not presuppose causality…the forms of existence may change and evolve, but the fact of existence is the irreducible primary at the base of all causal chains…” ; so the big bang, instead, she theorized, was more precisely an extremely fascinating and defining episode in natural history)-;… she does have an interest in eventually either returning to or finding more time for research on prospects of terraforming. One of her major dreams is to live not merely to “see the day” when humanity begins colonizing space, but to move to a space colony.

[2] Even places where strict and conservative interpretations seemed to dominate a culture/ethos were unappealing to her, whether in the Israel-Palestine area, or the rural areas of the American southern states…

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