There is something wonderful about the process of creation... I haven't written much recently, and I had started to forget that.

At the very least, I had never thought of physically building something as being half so beautiful as mixing words to make pretty sounds, images that poke their way to the back of your brain... so let us say that I learned something this week.

I managed to get this sorta engineeringish project for the summer... I'm building an interferometer that will work in the far infrared. Now, to work in the far infrared, you've got to work in a vacuum, 'cause air strongly absorbs the far infrared. To work in a vacuum, you've got to have an airtight housing, and this is what i'm making at the moment, from aluminum. Now, this involves some arc welding, to make the fittings vacuum tight...

I was learning to use the arc welder, because i've only ever used oxyacetylene rigs before. I was making some practice joints before starting on the real thing, and I just noticed the colors you make when you touch the welder to the metal. As the tip approaches the surface, it gives a clear and present light, a piercing bright blue... and the metal itself glows cherry to a brilliant flaming orange, and the sparks are a sarcastic pale yellow, and all of a sudden you have your vacuum-tight seam... and it is beautiful.

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