A long time coming

Have you ever looked at the night sky from a place free from lights?  No light pollution, no air pollution, no noise pollution, just stars and the muffled murmurs of nighttime life.  Every star is a tiny pinprick of light closely neighbored by another and another and another, so many you can’t count and  familiar constellations are suddenly lost.  And as your eyes adjust to the dark more stars emerge and a faint milky trail reveals itself, cutting across the entire sky.  If you’re lucky a few shooting stars will leap distances and catch your eye.

Mostly, seeing the sky like this, it reminds me of the vastness of the universe.  Nothing is identifiable, I don’t see the Big Dipper or Orion or Cassiopeia.  I can’t see the parts, only the whole… the whole sky as it’s made with thousands of glimmering specks.  But, then I remember that those specks aren’t specks.  They’re huge masses of fiery gases that suspend in black nothingness as the earth beneath me is suspended in black nothingness.  And those masses don’t give a damn about me.  They’re just there and they just exist and occur and live and die and they don’t know I’m here.  They don’t know we’re here.  That their brother, our sun, is warming our backs and giving us food and life.  I’ll never be an astrophysicist, or whatever, because I don’t ever want to think too hard about what’s out there and what “out there” really is.  What’s beyond our universe?  Another one?  Oblivion?  Hell?  God?

It’s scary.  We are so little.  We think our lives mean something.  But, to the stars, we’re nothing.  We are so insignificant except to ourselves.  The world, the universe is too big for us.  We’re stuck on this Earth and we’ll die on this planet and the entire universe will just keep happening.  It happens everyday without our help and we just don’t matter.

But, I swear there’s a glimmer of good in this.  We are significant because of our insignificance.  How is it that we just came to be when there was no need for us to be to begin with?  In a blink of an eye man has evolved and we have survived.  We’re important because despite being such an insignificant part of the universe, we’re still here and we still happened.  Why?


One thought on “A long time coming

  1. I don’t know, there’s a huge sense of security in all the unknown. As much as I want to do things that extend beyond myself, it’s comforting to know that I’m unfathomably anonymous being in an unfathomably huge universe.

    We’re significant because we have to believe we are. We choose to believe that and act on that and evolve and expand and civilizations come and go. Otherwise I think we’d all drown in our insignificance, and some of us do. I think balancing our perspectives is the hardest thing of all to do.

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