Tucker, one of the household cats, has a sweet quiet nature that hides multiple insecurities. He’s needy and anxious, shadowing my activities, sleeping on the desk beside me, seeking my lap. His other dominant trait is that he’s a fighter. He loves attacking and fighting other cats. They know this and avoid him but he’ll seek them out. So I end up segregating them. He often ends up locked up in the office. He has food, water, a litter box and windows. It’s a warm and cozy space, and the primary place my wife and I spend our time. Yet, he wants out.
He wants out because he has other places he enjoys sleeping in the other rooms, but he also wants out because he knows the others are out there. I frequently talk to him about all this as I pet him, explaining that I don’t blame him, because this is his nature. While explaining this to him two days ago, I experienced an epiphany about the part of the novel I was writing. It was a eureka moment.
I couldn’t help but think of this yesterday. I subscribe to Delancey Place. They post excerpts of non-fiction books. The featured book was ‘1666: Plague, War and Hellfire’ by Rebecca Rideal. The book excerpt was about Newton and his thinking on gravity, along with the apple falling from the tree to the ground.
“Whatever he was contemplating as he sat under the apple tree on this autumnal day was brought to a sudden halt when, above him, a stem holding one of the plump apples strained and snapped. The speckled red fruit thumped to the ground and, in a flash, Newton had a groundbreaking epiphany. It became clear to him that the fruit had been drawn to the ground because gravitation worked to pull things together and hold everything onto the Earth, and that its gravitation must extend beyond the sky, into space, and to the moon itself. Following where Galileo and Kepler had led, and Einstein would later follow, in 1666, Newton had started:
‘… to think of gravity extending to the orb of the Moon … and deduced that the forces which keep the Planets in their Orbs must be reciprocally as the squares of their distances from the centres about which they revolve …'”
Chuckling, I compared my contemplation with Newton’s. Mine pale by magnitudes, of course, but I love the natural comparison and realization about how our minds work to evolve insights and furnish ideas. So cool.