“He told me to look at my hand, for a part of it came from a star that exploded too long ago to imagine. This part of me was formed from a tongue of fire that screamed through the heavens until there was our sun. And this part of me—this tiny part of me—was on the sun when it itself exploded and whirled in a great storm until the planets came to be.
And this small part of me was then a whisper of the earth. When there was life, perhaps part of me got lost in a fern that was crushed and covered until it was coal. And then it was a diamond millions of years later—it must have been a diamond as beautiful as the star from which it had first come.
Or perhaps this part of me became lost in a terrible beast, or became part of a huge bird that flew above the primeval swamps.
And he said this thing was so small—this part of me was so small it couldn’t be seen—but it was there from the beginning of the world.
And he called this bit of me an atom.
And when he wrote the word, I fell in love with it.
What a beautiful word.”
—”The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-moon Marigolds”