On such a timeless flight

Posted by on July 9, 2010 at 8:58 pm.

Mankind’s fascination with outer space can be likened to that of manifest destiny. To the Moon, to the Pacific, and to Jupiter, and back, at all costs. Where there’s a will, by God, there is a way!

I accepted a similar mindset a few years ago. No matter what, I will not be limited by a boundary. And like mankind’s fascination with conquering the unknowns of space, my personal mission still lacks a true destination. After all, space is scary.

That’s what every song about space has told me. Elton John called it a lonely place. Brave Saint Saturn said space was no place for a “fragile human soul.” Even as a child, I quickly learned that space is only a destination for bounty hunters and killer aliens. And it’s a great destination for TV shows that are cancelled after one season.

Pres. Obama isn’t a big fan of space either. With his plans to cut NASA missions and spending, I can only imagine his mindset: Why focus on the unknown, when we have plenty to worry about on our own rock?

So maybe we do have boundaries. Maybe space does limit us.

Except I don’t believe this. Space is terrifying, but how can we live with ourselves without experiencing it!? Won’t we always feel that “what if?” in the back of our minds? Won’t we look to the stars and feel regret? The thrill of the unknown is a temptress, but she can’t be that bad, can she?

I’m not ready to give up. Sign me up, because I’m prepared for the next step.

Space songs are perfect because they’re ambiguous. Artists allow their imaginations to fill the void left by its mystery, using space to describe a desolate, lonely place. But that doesn’t matter. I need the unknown — I don’t care what it brings.

2 Comments

  • LeeAnn says:

    I can’t believe I’m only seeing this post now because this is something I’ve been thinking about lately, especially over the last few days. I’ve always been fascinated by space and how freaking HUGE it is, forget about being poetic. It’s fascinating. Just consider the speed of light -there’s nothing in my own life or physical experiences that I can even hope to draw a comparison to. It’s mind-blowing.

    I can I took astronomy and hated doing the math and figuring out the trajectories and distances between things. I’d rather just sit in the planetarium and THINK (or nap, I can’t lie). I agree with you 100% – I’m fine with never knowing exactly how we came to be or exactly what’s out there or if we’ll ever really find out. The mystery is what makes it exciting – more importantly, the new questions that appear every time we think we’ve got one pinned down.

    How are we going to even figure out what questions to ask if we don’t keep looking?

  • Ryan says:

    “The mystery is what makes it exciting — more importantly, the new questions that appear every time we think we’ve got one pinned down.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    I’ll always remember what Willy Wonka told me: “We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”

    Keep dreaming and wondering. The moment you stop dreaming is the moment you lose your way.

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