For the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading and enjoying Uranium by Tom Zoellner. I put a hold on it when I came across it during a library search. I was looking for “uranium”, “nuclear power” and “nuclear weapons” to satiate Zach’s curiosity on the subject. When the books arrived I took one look at Uranium and thought, “I won’t be reading that much on uranium”. Well, after flipping through the first few pages I was hooked and have since found it a fascinating read about the history of uranium, how it has shaped the world, and its potentials and dangers. This, combined with pregnancy, has been inducing some very “atomic” dreams. Last night, not for the first time, I dreamed that I watched a nuclear explosion. I was climbing up a steep cliff with someone else – I don’t know who. It was winter. A sickening red-pink blaze flared up behind us and we looked back, suspecting it was an atomic bomb. Sure enough, we saw the mushroom cloud welling up and then we ducked down, covering ourselves as much as possible, as the radioactive ash started to descend upon us. For all I know, I was on the cliff prospecting for uranium. The stuff is everywhere in my sleeping thought. Combine that with my thinking about quilt making, colour matching, and possible designing some of my own prints to print at Spoonflower…… and the dreams get weirder. However, last night there was no quilting going on. I returned to a military like base camp where news about the explosion was being broadcast over an outdoor loudspeaker system. At that point (and now it was summer), someone said that “Chris” had been missing since that morning when he went out hunting a bear. I told this man I would help look for Chris (and in my dream I knew who Chris was). We walked a short distance down the trail and there was Chris, lying face down on the ground. Clearly dead. But suddenly Chris was a baby tiger, alongside a baby zebra, and some other unidentified animal. They were all dead and had clearly been partially eaten. Then the unidentified animal started licking its wounds. There was no doubt in our minds that this had been done by the man-eating tiger that had been lurking in the area. There are some fuzzy details at this point and then I clearly remember going downstairs in some building, sitting on the couch, and picking up Uranium to read. And then I was overcome with sadness about all the people I knew had died in the earlier atomic blast.
I think that when this book is finished I will read about a more stable element than uranium, one that doesn’t hold the capacity to bring about such catastrophe. But I highly recommend the read.