greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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Addendum: terrible beauty

I have these three photographs, which I've taken from an article I was directed to by sfmarty. They record the first few fractions of a second of an atomic explosion. Unfortunately, the article wasn't terribly informative, so I don't know the strength/yield or any specifics of the bomb in question or even what year the photos were taken. I do know that the exposures are 1/100,000,000ths of a second apart from one another, that the camera was 10 miles from the blast, and that the test site was somewhere in Nevada. I've been looking at these since last night, trying to think how I could ever hope to write anything half so terrible as these images, knowing that I can't, and that I wouldn't want to try. But, also, few things so effectively illustrate mankind's paradoxical ability to create and destroy, and few other things can stand as such an eloquent expression of the complexity of that emotional state that is too often shorthanded as "horror." I keep coming back to them. Is this the face of "god," the power humans have always longed to commune with? Is this the "shatterer of worlds"? Is revelation and epiphany the same as suicide? Is it merely pretty lights, an insignificant flash in the void? Whichever, these three photos say it all (behind the cut):

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