One billion grains of sand come into existence in the world each second. That's a cyclical process. As rocks and mountains die, grains of sand are born. Some of those grains may then cement naturally into sandstone. And as the sandstone weathers, new grains break free. Some of those grains may then accumulate on a massive scale, into a sand dune.
The huge round lunar clock was a gristmill. Shake down all the grains of Time-the big grains of centuries, and the small grains of years, and the tiny grains of hours and minutes-and the clock pulverized them, slid Time silently out in all directions in a fine pollen, carried by cold winds to blanket the town like dust, everywhere. Spores from that clock lodged in your flesh to wrinkle it, to grow bones to monstrous size, to burst feet from shoes like turnips. Oh, how that great machine... dispensed Time in blowing weathers.
The huge round lunar clock was a gristmill. Shake down all the grains of Time""the big grains of centuries, and the small grains of years, and the tiny grains of hours and minutes""and the clock pulverized them, slid Time silently out in all directions in a fine pollen, carried by cold winds to blanket the town like dust, everywhere. Spores from that clock lodged in your flesh to wrinkle it, to grow bones to monstrous size, to burst feet from shoes like turnips. Oh, how that great machine... dispensed Time in blowing weathers.
Many people believe that the grains of sand are infinite in multitude ... Others think that although their number is not without limit, no number can ever be named which will be greater than the number of grains of sand. But I shall try to prove to you that among the numbers which I have named there are those which exceed the number of grains in a heap of sand the size not only of the earth, but even of the universe
Once you change the technology - from a film camera to a video camera, or from an 8-mm camera to 16 mm - you change completely the content. With 8 mm, a leaf on a tree will be made up of maybe four grains. So it's very impressionistic, almost like Seurat. If you switch to 16 mm, the technology gives you hundreds of grains on that leaf.
One day or one night-between my days and nights, what difference can there be?-I dreamed that there was a grain of sand on the floor of my cell. Unconcerned, I went back to sleep; I dreamed that I woke up and there were two grains of sand. Again I slept; I dreamed that now there were three. Thus the grains of sand multiplied, little by little, until they filled the cell and I was dying beneath that hemisphere of sand. I realized that I was dreaming; with a vast effort I woke myself. But waking up was useless-I was suffocated by the countless sand. Someone said to me: You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of the grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened. I felt lost. The sand crushed my mouth, but I cried out: I cannot be killed by sand that I dream -nor is there any such thing as a dream within a dream. - Jorge Luis Borges, The Writing of the God
Jorge Luis Borges
Consider now the Milky Way. Here also we see an innumerable dust, only the grains of this dust are no longer atoms but stars; these grains also move with great velocities, they act at a distance one upon another, but this action is so slight at great distances that their trajectories are rectilineal; nevertheless, from time to time, two of them may come near enough together to be deviated from their course, like a comet that passed too close to Jupiter. In a word, in the eyes of a giant, to whom our Suns were what our atoms are to us, the Milky Way would only look like a bubble of gas.
Prior to 1968, the gullible gentiles could take a one dollar Federal Reserve note into any bank in America and redeem it for a dollar which was by law a coin containing 412 1/2 grains of 90 per cent silver. Up until 1933, one could have redeemed the same note for a coin of 25 4/5ths grains of 90 per cent gold. All we do is give the goy more non-redeemable notes, or else copper slugs. But we never give them their gold and silver. Only more paper,
Harold Wallace Rosenthal
It has been a week since Ami died and this morning I woke suddenly hours before dawn, indeed the same hour as when my mother died. It was not a dream that woke me, but a thought. And with that thought I could swear I heard Ami's voice. But I am not frightened. I am joyous. Joyous with realization. For I cannot help but think what a lucky person I am. Imagine that in all the eons of time, in all the possible universes of which Dara speaks, of all the stars in the heavens, Ami and I came together for one brief and shining sliver of time. I stop. I think. Supposing in the grand infinity of this universe two particles of life, Ami and me, swirl endlessly like grains of sand in the oceans of the world - how much of a chance is there for these two particles, these two grains of sand, to collide, to rest briefly together... at the same moment in time? That is what happened with Ami and me... this miracle of chance.
We can't stop reading. Compulsively we find ourselves reading significance into dreams (we construct a science upon it); into tea-leaves and the fall of cards. We look up at the shifting vapours in the sky, and see faces, lost cities, defeated armies. Isolated in the dark, with nothing to hear and no surfaces to touch, we hallucinate reading-matter. Our craving becomes generalized - for 'the meaning of life'. If we lived alone in a featureless desert we should learn to place the individual grains of sand in a moral or aesthetic hierarchy. We should long to find the greatest grain of sand in the world, and even (in order to find a fixed point of orientation in time as well as in space) the all-time greatest grain of sand; the grain of sand whose discovery changed our whole understanding of grains of sand for ever.