Like galaxies, unscathed…

And when we touch

I was walking around Berlin today and came across this piece of graffiti. It reads: “and when we touch we’re not really touching. if our atoms did not repel one another we’d pass through each other like galaxies, unscathed.” It’s a striking thought and I found myself thinking about the nature of love and connection for the rest of the day. How is it that we ever find anyone to fall in love with? Or they are able to find us? Does fate intervene ever? I also wonder, where did this quote come from? It sounds familiar to me. Is it original or did some famous poet or author or songwriter pen it somewhere before it was spray painted on a construction site barricade in Berlin? I did a quick internet search for this quote and came up with a short story called  The Mighty Atom by Bill Bryson that makes a reference to a quote by science writer Timothy Ferris that is close but not exact; other than that I didn’t come up with much. Any ideas?


~ by colonycollapse on November 25, 2008.

9 Responses to “Like galaxies, unscathed…”

  1. it sounds familiar… but Timothy Ferris is all I can come up with. Beautiful phrase though

  2. and ofcourse “Short History of Nearly Everything”

  3. I couldn’t find this anywhere else, either. Definitely thought provoking. Thank you for sharing it. And I love that it was scrawled across a construction site barricade. Seems fitting. For aren’t our hearts in an endless state of construction, forever being built up, expanding to include new people in our lives, or alternately, jack hammered away by those who never should have gained entry in the first place? As for fate, I absolutely believe it intervenes. Like love, fate is not something that can ever be explained or diagrammed, but nonetheless affects us in profound ways. Bringing people into our lives, even if we don’t initially understand why they have arrived.

  4. it’s very interesting. very strange to think about things in that light.

    It’s strange that i stumbled upon this blog and read this poetry today. I traveled to michigan to visit my grandma for thanksgiving and she started telling me about my great-great-great aunt. it turns out she was the president of the poet society of america. my grandma pulled out pages of old poetry my aunt wrote. i cant stop reading through them. if you’ve got some time, you can find some of her work online. her name is Jessie Rittenhouse. my favorite poem is “unsung”.

  5. Nick,

    Europe seems to be full of wonderful, thought-provoking graffiti like this! If you find the time, there’s a lot more like it on Most of the best stuff is from the UK.

    On an unrelated note, I see you guys have added 3 tour dates in Japan for next February. As a former resident of that lovely country, did you have a hand in that decision? It seems like some sort of divine intervention that both myself and the greatest band of all time will both be in Osaka in 2 months.

    Speaking of which, seeing as Osaka is the last show on the list, perhaps you’ll have some free time to hang out afterwards and talk nerdy with a fellow military-brat-turned-global-wanderer! One can dream, right? Jaa, mata ne!

    Best wishes from Osaka,

  6. I think it’s one of many metaphors that physicists use to explain the universe at the subatomic level- we are in fact mostly composed of empty space with certain particles behaving in particular fashions that keep us “solid”. I love it that quantum physics somehow sounds just like poetry- I guess it is fitting since the small amount of actual matter that we are composed of is cosmic dust. Maybe there is hope for us yet! I stumbled across this blog today and have enjoyed reading it.

  7. Your photos are amazing! Are you using a wide angle lens? If so what do you shoot with? I am very impressed with your photograpy. You have a unique style of being able to make the items far away look like scale model toys. They are very.

  8. I was in Berlin when DCFC played back in July but I was unable to get tickets and ended up mulling around outside of the venue for 2 hours- ‘machinenhaus’ I think (I flew all the way to Germany to see them!! lol jk).

    One thing I did see around Berlin was all the graffiti, esp. when I was riding in on the train from my previous stop at Wolfsburg. It’s ironic, the German culutre is a clean, neat, and efficient one, yet they have some of the most expressive and innovative people. I would have never thought to take the time to spray that! It must have really meant something to the person spraying it!

  9. Trust in Fate, Believe in Love. And if you come out unscathed or not in some way moved by it, your not doing it right. You need to feel love, to realize that you did not get to where you are on your own.

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