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Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks for chaos and logos
and impli­cate order;
for dark mat­ter, bright galax­ies,
and non­lo­cal con­nec­tions; for crys­tals and con­ti­nents;
for Lucy’s skull and Mary Leakey’s
foot­prints in vol­canic ash; for Thales’ water,
Her­a­cli­tus’ fire, and Pythagore­an forms; for the
Indi­an zero, alge­bra, and algo­rithms; for the
oscil­la­tions of the Yin and the Yang; for
acupunc­ture, Su Sung’s astro­nom­i­cal clock, and
Huang Tao P’i’s tex­tile tech­nol­o­gy; for Ara­bic
alchemists on the Old Silk Road and Ibn Sina’s
Canon of Med­i­cine; for Euclid and New­ton and “God
play­ing dice”; for Kepler’s snowflake and Kekule’s
dream; for Mendel’s monastery peas and the genet­ic
Tetra­gram­ma­ton on the spi­ral stair­case of life;
for frac­tals, ferns and fall foliage; for
cater­pil­lars and cocoons; for the infant’s first cry;
for Pachebel’s canon; for stained glass win­dows,
Leeuwenhoek’s micro­scope, and the Galileo
probe; for the World Wide Web to help us become
con­scious of cos­mic inter­con­nect­ed­ness; but most
of all, let us give thanks for the twin pas­sions
which make us ful­ly human–the yearn­ing to
tran­scend the bound­aries of time and space by
learn­ing and by lov­ing.

Invo­ca­tion, by Ingrid Shafer
For the open­ing of the Okla­homa Acad­e­my of Sci­ence on 7 Novem­ber 1997

A friend emailed the piece to me sev­er­al years ago. I want­ed to link to it, but couldn’t find a copy of it on the web, so I made one (with Dr. Shafer’s per­mis­sion, of course). Today seems a good time to move it from the old ver­sion of my site into Word­Press.

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