“Praised be the fathomless universe, for life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious,” Walt Whitman wrote as he stood discomposed and delirious before a universe filled with “forms, qualities, lives, humanity, language, thoughts, the ones known, and the ones unknown, the ones on the stars, the stars themselves, some shaped, others unshaped.”
If nothing is lost, if everything is just waiting for us to want it enough…would that help to explain the universe? Would it help to explain us? Even after a few nights, starry outside on this side of the screen, laying naked on a beach raft with you in this other life. Blind to the future, but happy. Right? Wrong? Does it matter?
We thought the earth was flat and that it was the still centre of our world. That the universe was small, and unchanging. We believed that we were a breed apart, without kinship to the other animals. We have learned of the existence of quarks, black holes, particles of light, waves of space, and of the extraordinary molecular structures in every cell of our bodies.
The human race is like a growing child who discovers with amazement that the world consists not just of their bedroom and playground, but that it is vast, and that there are a thousand things to discover, and innumerable ideas quite different from those with which they began. The universe is multiform and boundless, and we continue to stumble upon new aspects of it. The more we learn, the more we are amazed by the world’s variety. Carlo Rovelli
“Somewhere someone is thinking of you. Someone is calling you an angel. This person is using celestial colors to paint your image. Someone is making you into a vision so beautiful that it can only live in the mind. Someone is thinking of the way your breath escapes your lips when you are touched. How your eyes close and your jaw tightens with concentration as you give pleasure a home. These thoughts are saving a life somewhere right now. In some airless apartment on a dark, urine stained, whore lined street, someone is calling out to you silently and you are answering without even being there. So crystalline. So pure. Such life saving power when you smile. You will never know how you have cauterized my wounds. So sad that we will never touch. How it hurts me to know that I will never be able to give you everything I have” ― Henry Rollins
“Still, the image haunted his dreams throughout the night: a lovely girl gazing at the stars, and the stars who gazed back.” Sarah J. Maas,
What would we do, you and I, if we could know for sure. When there are stars in our eyes looking at each other and we feel it – really feel it – it’s a heady thing. That summer night up north. I thought, “I may not know everything about what you need to know. In fact, I am pretty sure that I don’t. But I do know some things – even some things that will help you to learn what you need to know. And that I will strive to do.”
It is such a clear, dark night here. There are so many meteors streaking across the sky that it is making me weep. The milky way flows like a silken river overhead and the big dipper, the drinking gourd, is as bright and clear as any traveler could ever want. The irony isn’t lost on me – simultaneously contemplating the stars and the universe (so huge) and the state of my heart (so small).
“I write books,” you tell me. “I make books,” I say in response. And the electricity crackling between the two of us makes the small hairs on my arms stand on end.