Mechanics to Metaphor: All is Vibration

Vibration noun \vī-ˈbrā-shən\: a periodic motion of the particles of an elastic body or medium in alternately opposite directions from the position of equilibrium when that equilibrium has been disturbed (as when a stretched cord produces musical tones or molecules in the air transmit sounds to the ear.)

All is vibration. “Matter” is a deceptive term, “solidity” a relative one. What we perceive as or have believed to be solid and unchanging is—as science increasingly tells us—in movement. If that movement is not in itself periodic, the effects of it are: we live in a vibrating universe.

Vibration occurs across a wide, possibly infinite, spectrum, of which only small ranges are perceivable to us. We can, for example, simply see the swing of a pendulum, which is relatively slow. When a guitar string is plucked, we can’t quite see its to and fro; it moves so fast it’s just a blur. We can, however, hear it. The string’s periodic movement sets the molecules in the air around it into wavelike motion, much in the way a stone dropped into water radiates waves. When those waves find our eardrums, our eardrums vibrate in turn and send messages to our brains, which we interpret as sound. Much faster than sound waves are the ones created when light is generated or reflected—those are the waves we see. Above, below, and in between sound and light are ranges of vibrational frequency that are perceivable to us only by their effect: the ultraviolet range that burns our skin, for example, and the ranges we use for wireless communication.

Vibration occurs in particular, predictable ways in response to various actions and circumstances. The chief phenomena associated with vibration—amplitude, frequency, harmonics, and resonance—underlie many of the metaphors at play in the Muzoracle.