I read Divergent all the way through yesterday and I was very surprised. Not expecting the story to be what it was. Very impressed. The romance shared between Tris and Tobias was so innocent and very well developed. Very pleasing to read (:
I want to talk about star death!
My last post made me think more what I was really talking about–being more “special” than a meteorite. Sometimes writing things at 1 am do not come out as polished.
Most people are familiar with the idea that stars are massive hydrogen fusion centers; making helium from hydrogen releasing tons of energy. But what you may not know is stars of significant mass actually fuse elements up to Iron.
What we see on the surface of our Sun and all other stars is actually a vast supermassive ocean of heated non-burning hydrogen.
Our star along with many others actually contain shells of fusion; zones where the heat and pressure have reached levels high enough to begin fusing the elements within to higher atomic masses. As a star ages, a significant amount of heavier elements accumulate in their zones until the heat and pressure again reach a high enough level to begin fusing the next shell. The force and energy from fusing the next shell causes the star to expand. Imagine millions of helium fusion bombs exerting pressure and all of a sudden millions of carbon fusion bombs go off, all more powerful and forceful than the shells above it.
The force of those fusion reactions pushes out while balancing the force of gravity. In effect, the star swells.
This cycle continues repeatedly down each shell of the star until (unfortunately for the star) it reaches the element Iron. As we found out earlier, the heat of the fusion reactions from the shells above release a lot of energy, in fact more than the energy required to fuse it. But the energy needed to fuse Iron is actually more than the energy released from the reaction. This spells the death of any star within seconds.
By this time the star has swelled immensely by sometimes billions of kilometers. The reaction of Iron fusion causes a deficit in the energy of the core of a star; as Iron fusion reactions absorb the energy of the surrounding fusion shells, depleting the core of enough energy to sustain fusion. This causes the outward pressure of fusion to drop instantly, causing the core to collapse.
It is within this brief moment, the few seconds of collapse, the last breath of the star’s life, that every element beyond Iron and Nickel are created. The force of collapse is so great, the heat and pressure from this instant alone are significant enough to fuse most of the elements past Iron, and everything else that we have around us today. The core then rebounds, sending a massive shockwave outward. This is what we know as a supernova explosion.
I said in my first post that at least two stars had to live and die before our Sun came into existence. In reality it could be at least one because one supernova explosion was needed to create all the elements we have now beyond Iron before the creation of our Sun could happen. But in the early universe, hydrogen was the prominent matter source everywhere. More than likely, a supermassive star–which typically live on the order of a few million years to a couple billion years, and keeping in mind the age of the universe at approximately 14 billion years, it makes sense that at least one supermassive star lived and died, providing a portion of the material for planets and life, while another star much like our Sun (which tend to live longer) lived and died before it but after the first. (This also supports the idea of nebulae in star formation. Stars are born by sweeping up enough material, then die spewing matter in all directions to be used in the life of another star.)
Our Sun is a typical main sequence star, meaning it is neither too massive to die as a supernova and neither too small to fall in the red M region and fizzle out as a brown dwarf (at least not immediately). Our Sun most likely will swell as usual, but not attain enough energy and pressure to begin fusing Iron* and explode violently in a supernova explosion. Most models predict it will recede from a maximum diameter of about the distance we are from the Sun**, and live for billions and billions of more years as a white dwarf until eventually most of the heat will have escaped and it will be a lowly brown dwarf at last.
*Some evidence suggests our Sun will only make it to carbon fusion before it dies.
**Scientists can’t seem to agree completely whether we will be absorbed into the Sun, or if we will just be fried for millions of years before it begins to retreat (which depends whether it will swell past our orbit).
I once thought having a meteorite would connect me to the universe. Owning a piece of something that probably travelled for millions of years before ending up on my night stand gave me a sense of unity with the medium which birthed all things. But I suddenly realized that I myself am made of something far more amazing. The protons that make up the space I inhabit, after exploding into existence from an infinitely small point, spent the latter part of 14 billion years fusing with other protons in the hearts of a minimum of two stars (probably more), before ordering themselves in the elements and bonds that make up what I am today.
So in a very real way, I am more special than a meteorite; from the universe the particles that make me who I am became what they are through a more beautiful and interesting way.
We tend to view outward from our perspective; compartmentalizing the space around us as different from everything else because we think we understand it more like it’s better in some way. However, the very nature of the universe and its creation is a humbling story about how very common and alike we all are to everything else. Everyone and everything in the universe started from the same thing; every star, every amoeba, every floating piece of iron and rock are all made from the same thing.
Whether life is a statistical manifestation of the nature of matter, or an undiscovered driving force in the universe is too complicated for 1 am.
Just spent the last 2 and half days redesigning my theme from top to bottom. I kept the same basic layout but I think it’s a lot more streamlined and clean.
This is also the first time I’ve had to use CSS x)
Exploring psychopathology this semester has been an interesting journey. Unearthing the many things that can afflict the minds of others has truly opened my experience and understanding of people.
For years I used to believe that there was something wrong with me. I tried desperately to comprehend every aspect of what made me an unhappy person underneath. I pieced together a lot over the years–however, the schism between then and what I know now only materialized within the last couple of months.
I wanted a name, a category, anything that would classify my feelings and confusion. I shuffled through attachment to depression, BPD, cyclothymia, schizotypal, anything that had something remotely close to what I was feeling. And while I could identify with some aspect of all of these conditions, actually learning the characteristics and distinguishing them from myself only then did I realize there is nothing wrong with me. At least with my head. It was a depressing realization to lack any kind of name to my feelings.
But then I realized that I was attributing the blame on myself. I wanted to know desperately what was wrong with me. When in reality, I am not the one to blame. I cannot search for the fault in me. It was not my fault. I was abandoned. My problems were crystalized by others. I was made to believe that I am the poison to which my afflictions stemmed from.
There is nothing wrong with me. I am not to be blamed and I cannot allow myself to partition as such upon me alone.
Recognize your oppressor.
"In these cases, INTJs tend to blame misunderstandings on the limitations of the other party, rather than on their own difficulty in expressing themselves. This tendency may cause the INTJ to dismiss others input too quickly, and to become generally arrogant and elitist."
Never has anything more explicitly described me before.
There are a lot of things I could address, a lot of things I could say, plenty to argue. One important point I think would be the best to talk about, is how much I really don’t want to write this. How much aggression, hate, and anger I have towards you without even the slightest of words having been exchanged with you in my entire life. At least that I can remember.
I want you to know though, that I’ve stopped blaming myself. I want you to know that in the 20 years I’ve lived, today I stopped hating myself. You were never around to blame. The only other person I could blame was myself and I didn’t realize until today that I unconsciously had directed every ounce of frustration I had with you onto myself. I realized today, after only three weeks of counseling therapy, that almost every occurrence of suicide, every time I hated myself so much, that I was just blaming the only person I could blame for you leaving me. You gave up on us, on me. You’re weak, and selfish.
I realized today that I needed to confront the people who’ve done me wrong and start blaming them instead of myself. You hurt me by leaving me. You could have stopped it all. You could have relinquished me from my pain. You could have been there. You could have done something. Said something. Sent something. Called. Tried. Anything. You died when you left. You past away just like my grandfather. I don’t know you at all. But I miss you like I’ve known you my entire life.
“I know you care. I know it has always been there.”
In my strength and in my stoicism and solidarity, there is a pain and a doubt. I have spent formative years, such formative years, hearing, being told, that an intrinsic part of me is fake. Impossible. A sham. That I cannot be in two worlds at once, that I am confused, or greedy.
It has made me…
It’s very interesting to me to read another person’s deepest thoughts and in this instance feel as if I’m listening to someone else talk about my own problems, as if you’ve walked a very similar path to mine to where it’s almost indistinguishable.
I understand. A combination of something similar to this along with a host of other issues and events in my recent past had led me to seek out a therapist who, in the last week has helped me see things in a greater perspective.
All of my childhood was a play. An acting role where I satisfied my family’s view of me all the while hiding my true identity. It wasn’t until high school that I started to feel more comfortable with not hiding it as much. But of course there’s always consequences. I ran into some conflict with my mother and my sisters with transitioning into a more confident person with myself in being gay and it’s taken me a long time to get to where I am today.
All that to say, as a young adult, we are forming our identities. We’re fitting in puzzle pieces to see how they work with our personality and identity, and the ones that don’t fit are thrown out, and the ones that do fit become part of us. Everyone fine tunes their identity at a different pace. I ran into some issues with dealing with my identity and how my future would look which caused me some emotional stress however, now that I understand that I don’t have to worry about betraying my identity if I find the female form in an artistically beautiful way, I can move forward with not arresting my stability by upheaving and questioning who I really am.
And in a literal reality sense, who ever makes you happy in the end, it won’t matter what’s between their legs. :) If you’re emotionally attracted to both women and men, then whom ever takes your heart away will make you the happiest person you’ve ever been.
I wanted to convince myself what I was bi when I was younger, just because “gay” seemed to be the more critical term that would garner the most rejection from my family. I was afraid and had little confidence in being happy in the future. But I came to terms with my sexual orientation and surrounded myself with competent nonjudgmental people to where even if my mom doesn’t support my relationships, I can feel safe in knowing there’s always someone who I can connect with and find that support with. :)
Mislead were you
To believe in such
That heaven will denounce
The evils too much
Placed your trust
In your heart you must
Adjust to the thrust
Robust the gust
Just before you combust
But at last it’s revealed
When at night you wake
From terrors of death
That reality is the God
Who governs the rational
Surrendered to its grip
I have no choice
But to hold my emotions
From killing me
How can I remain impartial?
The dire need to subjugate my fear left my heart at a stand still. The demons of past gave prejudice in return for my consolidation. Was I really about to let go?
My hand on his chest, I could feel the life giving force inside him at work. I felt the connection of our souls across the membranes of our skin. I tripped into his heart, unaware that I had stolen it when I left; and at check, discovered that mine had been misplaced as well. Though I knew the culprit; and in that moment, knew that we were at sync. Beating as one, I found that feeling I had forgotten.
I let go.
“What is it you want?”
Looking back into his eyes, words didn’t come. The innocent blue-green keeping my gaze. Still laying down, I looked back up at the sky, closing my eyes.
How can it be so simple? Any attempt to begin the thought process only flooded my brain with more reasons and logic behind everything, tiring me out before I could even speak. It’s not so simple. Living in a world with millions of colors can only make the most simple of choices seem overwhelming. I am not in part lazy or apathetic, but in the only twenty years I’ve been alive, every twist and turn of the universe only reveals a myriad of more complex situations and knowledge of life. Opening my eyes, I take a deep long breath:
“At every moment in my life, at every instance of that question, I’ve fallen into a conundrum of silence. When I’ve landed on one thing, another takes my attention. Nothing is simple. The universe is so amazingly complex. I can never wrap my head around anything.” My heart starts beating faster in my chest. “But—” I turn on my side towards him, “if there has ever been something more absolute, more resounding, so crystal a message from the universe, something I’ve never had to think about; it would be that you are the only thing I could ever want with such magnitude, nothing has ever been as direct in my heart, that I could never live another day not in your presence.”