January 13, 2008

I cannot stare into a cloudless blue sky without a rattling in my stomach, because should I stare too long, I fear falling up and into the sky forever.

It’s a silly fear. And many fears are silly, but silly or not there it is.

Tonight I went running and when I tired, I walked and gazed into the night sky. I like running when it’s cold. I like how the cold air sears my lungs, burning me from the inside. Cold makes starlight crisp and the night deep too. There I saw Mars, Ursa Major and Minor, the Big Dipper, Orion’s Belt, and the frosty trail of the Milky Way. And I thought how odd it is to predict the future from starlight so old. Soon an uneasy feeling crept upon me – a rattling in my stomach.

Light travels quickly. Ancient starlight means the light has traveled the vastness of space. And as I stood by a dark road in rural Texas, fear gripped me. Moonbeams illuminated my breath. And the fear of being tiny and insignificant shook me. And I felt ashamed of all the petty and mean things I’ve done.

We kid ourselves. We go through our days and nights thinking we understand our world and our place in it. And we think ourselves so clever for grasping our place and purpose.

But living our days and nights numb to the awe that our home is a spinning planet falling through the vastness of space isn’t living.