Notre Dame is Burning Down

As I type. My thoughts this last week have revolved around the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Order to Entropy. Today on CNN I watch a 12th Century structure, a magnificent world icon of architecture, burn, crumble, and plummet to the streets below. It is painful for the French, but shocking to this viewer (who has never been to Paris), as a metaphor for the fruitless efforts of humanity to withstand inevitable destruction and decay, be it sooner by fire or later, when the Earth itself gets fried to a crisp.

My existential crisis is coming to grips with that. I seem to have gained some perspective, given what I have learned about the nature of matter and the universe. The arrow of time moves in that direction. Here today, gone tomorrow. By no means is that statement cavalier. I am simply adjusting to the newness of my lessons. Humans make wondrous things, creation being something that sets us aside from other living things on our planet. We achieve marvels in art and architecture, music, literature, and science. Partially we create from a conscious need for self-expression, or from an unconscious urge, or perhaps another for a attempted glimpse at an eternal life. How many more reasons may there be? Unknown. I wish to make my mark, but am very uncertain of any success. It does not diminish my drive that I have no personal gain, other than a sense of satisfaction that I have done something I think communicates itself to another.

Notre Dame is far more than the sum of her parts, even of what were her parts. The impact of awe upon her visitors may have been transitory in the scheme of things but it was there. In six billion years, no. But, for a time, the deep impression of marvel upon millions was enormous and real. Why humans create is absurd and beautiful. Perhaps even more beautiful because they are impermanent.