The Christmas Light

A journal entry: (I was sitting in a chair listening to some quiet Christmas music, about 10 feet from the lit Christmas tree. Also, lately I had been listening to some tapes on philosophy - and the age-old question "What is the really real?" I don't usually trouble myself with that sort of question, but it's always intriguing.)
 From my chair, I look at one the Christmas tree lights. As with everything else that I see lately, it is indistinct - there is really a circular array of lights in place of the single bulb - in other words, nothing is in focus anymore. Also it is surrounded by pulsing rays.
 Notice that I found myself using the word "really". But what does that mean? The "real" light is over there on the tree about 10 feet from me. If I got up and walked over there, put on my glasses and took a closer look, I would see the familiar green socket holding a small glass candle. (I didn't really get up; I simply recalled the image from memories of putting up past lights.)
 So is the "real" light the perfect single point, surrounded by its green socket that I would see if my vision was as it were about twenty years ago? No. I suppose the "real" light is the one that is fuzzy and indistinct for my old man's eyes.
 Furthermore, the whole scene pulses ever so subtlely.
 Later I get up, turn on the computer, and begin to write all this stuff down. But I thought "Oh. Now I can look over at the tree right next to me and just look at one of the lights." I put on my regular glasses and lean over. I see a smaller but slightly more distinct circular array of lights. It, too, is surrounded by a smaller set of pulsing rays. "Oh. Is this a Fractal phenomenon? It's a 'self-similiar' scene at this scale of 1 foot as it was at 10 feet."
 So I look down at my shirt. "Oh I have my stronger reading glasses hanging there. I'll stack them on my other glasses for a closer look. Will I finally see one distinct light - as it "really" is? I place the second pair of glasses on and move to a few inches from one of the lights.

There I see, very distinctly and unmistakeably and free of pulsation, in a tiny forest of the tree's succulent needles which are themselves streaked with light, at the center of this forest and encased by a glass cylinder with its green planetary ring, not noticing the several out-of-focus circular globes reflected on my two glass lenses, a bright star.

Copyright © 2015 J.A.