Of Love and Quantum Physics


I had a rare afternoon of nothing yesterday. And because the air was heavy as it is before a downpour, and because I am extra sensitive to drops in barometric pressure, and because I had survived a week of Mercury retrograde, I lay on my bed and decided to "watch tv".

I don't actually have a tv, and I don't have cable at home either. People often ask how I have time to pursue a PhD with kids, and my answer is always, "I don't watch tv". They also ask how I can have had five babies and wear a size 4, and my answer is always, "I never get to eat anything super delicious without having to share at least five bites of it." Try it Sisters, The Momma Diet. Anytime you have something just ab-so-lute-ly delicious, just take off the cherry and whipped cream, dump out the first half of it, take a couple bites, and then dump the rest. If you're not into wasting, just holler out your front door, "ANYONE WANT SOME ICE CREEEAAMMM?!?!" loud enough for at least five kids to hear and watch what happens. Ta-daa! The Momma Diet.

Back on topic. You might be wondering, "How, pray tell, did you watch tv if you don't have a tv?"

CuriosityStream.

I downloaded this app a few months ago because I wanted to fill my mind with ideas and history and culture and other kinds of amazingness. I also downloaded it because I have a brother who is somewhat of a genius and even though we rarely have a chance to talk-story, when we do, I want to be able to connect with him on topics that he might find interesting. He doesn't have children, so there goes about 98% of what I have to talk about.

Almost 2 years ago, my brother tried to explain quantum physics to me. It did not go well. At all.

So yesterday, I was super excited to see a two-part series of quantum physics on CuriosityStream.

Here's quantum physics in a nutshell. Laugh as much as you'd like during the next paragraph and Google everything you are about to read because, well because it's me.

When Einstein created the lightbulb, (insert: this post has been live for over 12 hours and no one has corrected me that it was in fact EDISON not EINSTEIN who created the lightbulb. Y'all, I feel the love...) no one could explain how it worked. So Einstein, being well, Einstein, set out to provide a scientific explanation. He proposed the quantum theory of light, where light consists of tiny packets of energy, or photons. But, what is a quantum? A quantum is very, very tiny and acts weird and no one really understands it. (Much like children.) This was explained in the first 5 minutes of the show. The next 30ish minutes my brain fuzzed out and I don't remember much (no judgement, the barometric pressure was low and you know, Mercury).

Then the narrator said that there was an epic battle to explain the nature of reality between Einstein and another physicist named Neils Bohr, and I snapped back in focus because it sounded much like a Harry Potter novel. Riveting.

Here is what struck me as so weird. Besides the fact that I could have been napping, but instead I was trying to understand quantum physics.

The Copenhagen Interpretation. Yes, I know. You can laugh.

The theory of Neils Bohr, through quantum mechanics suggested that energy is only "a potential for reality" until it is measured. "Only by looking, it is conjured into existence".

Before you click away, remember the title of this post, Of Love and Quantum Physics.

Cue Tina Turner. What's love got to do, got to do with it...

I was busy this afternoon in the kitchen, doing my mom thing, and I heard, "Momma, look at me, look at me Momma. I'm a ballerina. Look at me twirl!"

This was followed immediately by a thunderous, Ironman superhero sidekick growling, "MMOOOMM", followed by several poses meant to instill awe and fear.

I don't know how many photons/electrons were gone and lost forever in the seconds it took me to remember the deep truths of quantum physics and stop washing dishes and turn around to look, but when I finally turned around, there was a sparkling, beaming, twirling ballerina and a fierce and joyful Ironman.

Where did these miracles come from? Of all the stars and stars and mommas and kitchens, how was mine so blessed to host their manifestation of light?

I don't know. I think this is one of those mysteries that are too deep for me to solve. But this is what I do know.

We are all made up of light.

Energy.

Magic.

Yes, this, I know is true.

And given this truth, then what if the Copenhagen Interpretation is also true? What if only by looking - only by being seen - we are conjured into existence?

This. Is. Everything.

This is why when you see someone, it is crucial to make eye contact and say a warm, "Hello". It is so, so much more than just a Hello - it is taking a possibility of a person and in that moment bringing their very existence into reality.

This is why, when someone walks into your office when you are busy typing away, you stop and turn your swivel chair around and make eye contact and bring their random particles of possibility into being and light and fullness.

This is why, when your genius brother passionately tries to explain quantum physics you sit down and focus whatever brain cells you can muster and listen, and nod, and smile and say, "Wow - that's amazing. YOU'RE AMAZING. I don't understand anything you're talking about, but you're cool and smart, and I love you."

This is why, Oprah gave us everything we needed to know when she said, "Deep down, everyone wants to know, do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say matter to you?"

We are not only made up of matter, we are made to matter, and quantum physics even goes as far as to suggest that we really, really need to matter and be seen and heard - in order to truly exist.

My heart is overflowing out of my eyes because this is heavy and because I blew it and I blow it so many darned times. But now I know, again.

It's bedtime. Tomorrow is the first day of school. It's time to oosh the kiddos into jammies and brushing teeth and it's time for goodnight books and a thousand goodnight hugs and kisses. It's time for night lights and stargazing at their faces at rest and tomorrow and tomorrows of conjuring their incredible lives into existence.

Sisters, as you prepare for this week, don't stay small. Be seen. Be conjured into your existence. Be full of light knowing that you matter.

And keep your eyes ever open to conjure up the miracle of others.