Four Suns


 

…what spirit
Have I except it comes from the sun?

Wallace Stevens, from ¨Waving Adieu, Adieu, Adieu¨


 

 

There may be nothing so reliable as the sun.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESRabat, Morocco

 

Despite its turbulence, it is one of the few things we can count on;

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESTamatert, Morocco

 

it is the closest thing we have to a fact.

SAM_0286Marseille, France

 

Thirty minutes north of Marseille, near a small Provencal town, an experimental synthetic star is under construction. The ITER Tokomak, which will take at least twenty years to complete, is designed to mimic the sun’s power and offer future generations an alternative, sustainable energy source.

Human-built, in process, hypothetical, it is an idea, and it throws everything known and enduring into question.

si-ITER2Photo credit: ITER Research Center

 

 

Gallery

Marseille: Construction

Piece by piece, Marseille is being ripped apart and rebuilt, just as it has been, time and again, for thousands of years.

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Construction workers do more than labor: they have a hand, practical and direct, in the creation and recreation of a place. In Marseille, they build upon the work of the city’s founders and leave their own for future change.

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It’s cosmic work, and it makes me think of this passage from Whitman’s Song of Myself:

 

I am an acme of things accomplished, and I am encloser of things to be.

My feet strike an apex of the apices of stairs,
On every step bunches of ages, and larger bunches between the steps,
All below duly travel’d, and still I mount and mount.

Rise after rise bow the phantoms behind me,
Afar down I see the huge first Nothing, I know I was even there,
I waited unseen and always, and slept through the lethargic mist,
And took my time, and took no hurt from the fetid carbon.

Long I was hugg’d close–long and long.

Immense have been the preparations for me,
Faithful and friendly the arms that have helped me.

 

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