I read about this experiment today, in which a scientist tried to create the most viscous material ever. It was 1927 and the scientist was Thomas Parnell, a physics professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. He poured hot pitch into a glass funnel and then let it cool while his class of students waited for the results. In about eight years, yes eight years, the first drop fell. After nine more years, another drop finally separated itself from the others and made its way downward to join the first.
That kind puts patience into perspective.
Since 1927, a total of eight drops have fallen. What is the purpose of this, you ask? Why would someone purposely torture himself and his students by doing this?
I like to think it’s uncertainty. We don’t know when the next drop will fall. Maybe also unpredictability. Think about it. In the wide open flow of time that makes up our lives, do we really ever know what’s going to happen? No. And if we did, we would never willingly choose to go through half the shit that comprises our human reality. It’s too painful, too messy and devoid of fun.
If we’re being honest here, pretty much nothing is really in our control. And maybe it shouldn’t be. Maybe the beauty is in the surprise, the up and down of our emotions, the high of our highs and the low of our lows. Maybe it’s the anticipation that the very next moment of our lives could spin us in a completely new direction, an amazing and true direction, and that this in itself is pretty damn special indeed.