From the words of Richard Feynman, the poet

Richard Feynman’s THE PLEASURE OF FINDING THINGS OUT is one of my favorite go-to books when I need a perspective realignment.

There is a section of text so full of introspection of the beauty of science, the fragility of existence, and the wonder of consciousness that it rang like poetry to me when I first read it 15 years ago.

Here, in full quotations to give him all the credit for his incredible thoughts, I reformatted Feynman’s words as prose. I hear them as lyrics in a song, reminding me of our fragile little rock which sustains such gorgeous life.

“I stand at the seashore, alone, and start to think.

There are the rushing waves

Mountains of molecules, each stupidly minding its own business

Trillions apart

Yet forming white surf in unison.

Ages on ages

Before any eyes could see

Year after year

Thunderously pounding the shore as now.

For whom? For what?

On a dead planet, with no life to entertain.

Never at rest

Tortured by energy

Wasted prodigiously by the sun

Poured into space.

A mite makes the sea roar.

Deep in the sea, all molecules repeat the pattern of one another

Till complex new ones are formed.

They make others like themselves

And a new dance starts.

Growing in size and complexity

Living things, masses of atoms, DNA, protein,

Dancing a pattern ever more intricate.

Out of the cradle onto dry land

Here it is standing

Atoms with consciousness

Matter with curiosity.

Stands at the sea

Wonders at wondering

I,

A universe of atoms

An atom in the universe.”

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