The Nature of Light
The nature of light – I asked Maxwell: the equation is right.
Confirmed observing the behaviour of those with patience in life,
Of minds that labour in love even 'til late in the night,
As inspiration always awakens like the day when it strikes
With white-hot waves of a bright trailblazing insight,
Delighting and debating, though in every case nature is right.
The nature of right, and the nature of truth, is illumination, it's life-giving,
It's like, well, the nature of light.
Well, congrats, class. As I understand it, you passed math.
Now you can subtract, add, graph stats, and cheat at blackjack.
Or you can produce data and amass facts,
Measure the energies in a vacuum or in a half-glass,
Negative or positive, concrete or abstract,
Using all of the schooling and tools and books in your backpack
For the task at hand – and the task is grand.
From the smallest to mapping the vast expanse
And you, you have the chance to glimpse the magic hands,
The forces, and the source of this avalanche of happenstance.
And connect the lines – the ones not yet defined, like Einstein
When he first spoke of space expressed in time.
I was joking about blackjack, by the way, and the x's and y's;
You're the best. You'd be hard-pressed to find more impressive minds
With more depth, more adept to absorb, reflect, and shine.
The question's just who among you is next in line
To provide answers and defy the odds by the slightest chances,
Shift the paradigm, all while complying to the highest standards
To search, and I don't mean by that site from those guys at Stanford.
By the lights that guide your minds – that's how science advances.
Make your light the clearest, with the purest intentions: courage and strength and perserverence
To search and to sense and to further inventions,
and to flourish in a world with a curious penchant.
A worrisome tendency to hurry to secure some attention
To seek personal fame first and personal gain.
It's the same in entertainment, but such work is in vain.
Be encouraged to work together with purpose, in service for change,
To build the pillars and furniture and the terms to explain
The ways that nature is structured, with strong frameworks to sustain
A place to gain further knowledge of the universe, through the universe in your brains.
When I do a verse, it's to help me stay in my right mind
And to gain sight, as most stumble through the night blind
And I'm seeing signs, more lights shining from bright minds
in their life's prime, this feels like once in a lifetime.
Like maybe we can do better than building pipelines
Or fighting over conflict diamonds in Wolframite mines
And we can do more than just retweet or even write rhymes
We can write history – right now is the right time.
Some might think that just sounds like some soundbytes
Some not-so-sound advice that only kind of sounds nice;
Maybe I'm totally naive, but I hope the seeds of hope are sown
and grow to be, well, who knows? The newest idea, the oldest tree,
With leaves that grow to reach deep as the roots in the holes beneath.
So go and seek beyond the solar in your souls with the goal of peace
Piecing together knowledge in a mind that's bold and free.
And if you don't succeed, no "woe is me."
Honour the process of progress and that project is a goal achieved.
You have the same nature as light: to glow and to lead
And seek to know, and make our knowledge of the whole complete.
Performed for the 2013/14 class of Perimeter Scholars International, June 21, 2014.