Coffee: Pike Place, Apartment Lounge Blend
I had a friend who launched rockets. He does other things now, but he used to put satellites in orbit, or point ships at the space station. I thought that was cool. It seemed like something to be a bridge-maker toward the final frontier.
But space isn’t how we all imagine it, really.
I’ve been seeing lots of news about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Interviews with astronauts, articles about the rigorous (and delicate) science, even some conspiracy theories. Not since Trump’s ill-advised ‘Space Force’ have the outer bounds beyond our tiny planet seen so much coverage. I haven’t read many of the articles, only stolen glances at the pictures, but it feels hopeful to think about people who broke the boundaries of human experience, and those who are doing so right now again and again.
And it’s romantic, but it shouldn’t be, because space isn’t what we want it to be.
We come to the notion of outer space seeking the best parts of ourselves. Technological marvels, the vast and glittering worlds of 70’s sci-fi. A limitless place to paint ourselves over and over, the hope of human renewal on a galactic scale.
When we look up, though, into the blackest night skies, and when we step out into the stars, there’s more emptiness than anything. There’s a crisp, barren beauty to Mars and an awful violence to Venus. But they never know each other, never touching, never holding hands, separated by blank space, whispering nothing. The scary thing is that this is a better reflection of us – multiple minds divided by the unbreachable expanse; galaxies you’ll never see.
I think it’s beautiful we made it to the moon. I think we should keep trying to go farther. But I think the lessons aren’t all bright ones, and the human heart is as much the empty parts and barren planets as it is a flickering sun.
Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller
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Not just beautiful, though–the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they’re watching me.Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore