Updated: Feb 18, 2022
Poem #1 from Mr. Pendlum’s Compendium-The Illustrated Multiverse Vol 1
The following poem is a philosophical pondering of the “birth” of the universe, a contemplation that asks how something can come from nothing and imagines how perhaps everything around us is simply a manifestation of nothingness.
You’ll first come across the poem in audiovisual form—narrated, musicalized, and animated— then the poem in written form, the poem’s illustration from the illustrated poetry book, and finally an additional pondering related to the poem.
In the beginning, there was Zero, And Zero was all there was; Zero never did much, For nothing never does.
But then one fateful moment Zero had a thought; Zero started thinking Of all that it was not.
Then Zero started visualizing All that it could be, And soon it came to realize It could be anything.
Zero could potentially be 2 plus 8 plus 3, As long as it was sure to add Negative 13.
It could be 30 divided by 5 Then multiplied by 9, If it also negatively added 12 times 4.5.
It could even be i times pi Then e to the power of that; As long as 1 was added too, Zero was still intact.
But these kinds of equations Needed some chronology;
Calculations require time, So time came into being.
Now Zero could express itself With separate entities, A daunting infinite amount Of possibilities.
But then an unexpected thing Soon began to occur; These new and separate entities Started to observe.
First they became aware of themselves, Then they looked out far, And then they all began to notice Other equation parts.
9 saw 30 divided by 5; 3 noticed 4.5. e discovered 8 plus 3; 1 saw i times pi.
They observed each other curiously And tried to do the math. What did these random numbers mean? They craved to understand.
Only Zero knows the answer To the equation in its head: It always has and always will be Zero in the end!
I remember being a young teenager, about 13 or so, and hearing about the law of conversation of matter, which states that matter cannot be created or destroyed, a thought that piqued my curiosity.
In those days, as in the present days, my brother and I loved talking about our thoughts and theories about the planets, the stars, the world, the universe. I’m pretty sure it was on a Friday while going out to eat at Burger King with our mom (Friday was our day to go out somewhere to eat and talk about all kinds of things) that I told my brother my newest “theory”. It seemed logical to me: if matter cannot be created or destroyed, then either all matter in the universe has always been here, or everything in the universe all adds up to nothing.
I remember thinking that perhaps every bit of matter or piece of information that was “created” had an opposite bit of matter or piece of information that canceled it out, thus allowing the universe to remain in its state of “nothingness”. I remember thinking that perhaps the universe, with all of its eternal time, had, at some point, grown bored and then curious, and then began to be creative and create different ways of expressing itself. Perhaps we are all just different expressions of nothing, each one of us a beautiful passing thought.