A Mind For The Stars


17 Sep

William West

The stars at night call out to the philosopher, the dreamer, the lonely, the loved and the traveler. So heavy on the eyes are these specks of distant light floating in an otherwise dark and empty sea. The perceiver can and does in turn reflect upon the self, and the relative size of it all. What am I, but eyes that can witness something so much more.

So does the philosopher build his thought palaces on and around this confusion, this wonder, this quandary and provocation. The halls of this mind will be checkered with intrigue, entranced by the meaning of everything veiled behind the silent night. The philosopher is to forever ponder man’s place in the great cosmic scheme. 

It is thus discovered that our star, our fireball, is not so unique, but just one among many and the only one to ever be intimately known. It is indefinitely our great provider. Without it we would soon find our world barren, stripped of its Goldilocks features of green, blue, and the countless quarks of living activity. For just as it gives, it also commands. The Earth rock shall never leave a perpetual vortex, forever circling the master star that has claimed our world for its own.

So enters the dreamer who cares to dare. Physics is but a barrier that must be overcome. Laws and natural order are like the rules to some great game that only apply to those whose imagination is trapped within the board. It is this mind that romanticizes the great defiance exercised by genius of the past. 

Once was it known that Sun and Moon were pulled by chariots of the Gods. Weather was believed to crackle beneath the strike of an almighty hammer and oceans were pulled by the will of some great trident. The coyness of Nature has always been prodded by the boldest of hearts, tested by the skeptical mind, and even upon occasion broken and deciphered by the determined dreamer.

Yet even after the accumulation of so many cognitive feats, the lonely are burdened by an awareness of how we are still here, adrift in a black expanse with no rudder or wheel to steer. These minds see that ultimately their existence will end buried beneath the same dirt over which they were born. 

One is too small to experience it all. Ankles are always to wear gravity’s shackles and lungs cling to local air, without which one could not breathe. Helpless and alone, there is no cure. Awaken to an already decided fate. Fight or forfeit, the result is just the same. No mind can overcome their own mortality, their finite reality, and the lonely limits to their cosmic existence.

But how the lonely would make pessimists of us all, troubled by tragic truths instead of filled by the warmth that radiates off of the loved. It is the loved that look out and are smitten by our star. For this mind, our world is not imprisoned by some unbreakable solar chain. Rather, the Sun leads the Earth in an eternal cosmic dance. Step by step, age by age, this romance remains one. An enchanting affair of billions of years and a billion years to come.

The rhythm of the cosmos plays a melody which echoes throughout all of existence. The atoms of our hearts were first forged in the furnace of colossal fireballs that once spread across the sky. Eons of exploding stars from a long forgotten age devoted the dust from their remains so that somewhere, somehow, we would come to be. Our qualities, in their simplest form, populate the universe near and far. These eyes are thus not prying at the secrets of some foreign domain, but rekindling a bond with elements of the self scattered across the galaxy and further still.

It is ultimately not a desire to leave that calls the traveler, but a deep spiritual desire to go home. It is this mind that is not confined by space and time, and the brink of attributes possessed by one alone. For the traveler is not a single soul, but a collective will that embodies the human pursuit of purpose.

In the stars does our species see a calling, an adventure, and a path that persists across the planets. Bred for more, for yearning and for wonder, satisfaction is not to be claimed by the faint of heart. Out there, in the endless night, the airless sea and the cosmic void, the traveler hears a final call. A will to greatness embraces the future, and out there is where man is destined to belong.

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