Sketch — Binaries and Heterochromia Iridium

August 18, 2013

Binaries and Heterochromia Iridium

I have long sought to discover a binary star system, and the moment I looked into Beatrice’s eyes on that rainy September morning I had begun to obsess over her crystalline piercing blue eye and her warm caressing brown eye. In astronomy language regarding binary systems, I would designate her blue eye as the primary and her brown eye as its companion, or comes, though brown eyes are more common, the blue-eyed gene being recessive. I wondered if I was being a bit Aryan in choosing blue as the primary, but I didn’t believe that was the reason. The blue eye was the first one you saw, you were drawn to its cool gleam, it was unavoidable. Eyes of the same color, too, often have different varying degrees of sightedness which is also like a binary system or double system. Our eyes, the slightly asymmetrical symmetry of our bodies, our handedness, the left and right side of our face, the hemispheres of our brains—so much of nature is based on a kind of complementary pairing with sides being not quite equal.

And I’d been dwelling on Beatrice’s eyes a great deal recently, hoping that Beatrice’s heterochromia iridium would somehow lead me to discovery if I meditated on them before falling asleep at night. I soon realized, however, that this sort of “focus exercise” assuming it had occasionally worked for Edison, wouldn’t trigger a discovery at all. No, I was already well on my way to a discovery (it was only a matter of when), and a blue eye and a brown eye may have been the catalyst, but the resulting whirlwind had more to do with my being slapped awake and had begun to see everything in my habitual surroundings with new eyes. I was born again with the appearance of Beatrice in my life. All the Brainchild merchandise—the Galileo thermometers, the astrolabes, the prisms, Fresnel Lenses, beakers and butterflies, optic wheels, dissection kits, and all the scopes of every size and shape and power, had assumed startling form in the presence of Beatrice, as if in her passing she’d sprinkled some magic sparkling stuff over the store items and shelves. After all, what were these things about anyway, these toys and kits we played with or used or studied, not in practical terms of how you would describe them, but stripped down to their material essence: metal alloys, steel, brass or lead, colored calibrated glass, perhaps some fluid or a fulcrum, string or wire. These objects had been designed for a scientific or education or hobby purpose, and if you happened to be ignorant of that purpose the objects would be unknowable and insignificant, mere apparatus. But after the initial sighting of Beatrice these objects had suddenly possessed a beauty and visual wonder in themselves that I hadn’t noticed in years. The vacuum of my marriage had unknowingly created other vacuums, even at Brainchild Scientific but in the early days of fall everything was transformed and infused with new life as if some gauzy veil had been lifted from my sight, and the store inventory assumed an intricate richly textured, colorful warp and woof. Brainchild had become my personal universe relative to Beatrice and the revelation that my eyes had been in sore need of calibrating, sharpening, honing. But ultimately it would take George and Gracie to get me to the discovery.


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