Some things I've thought about concerning Love, Space and the Future.
Our founder speaks to why life was made for being true to yourself.
This world is so strange, to me.
I have a hard time remembering what life felt like before I was smacked in the face with science; our planet, our solar system, our galaxy, our infinity. Even still, I'm thick in the middle of this existential mud, trying to figure out what is and what isn't, struggling to pick at what should matter to us and what, if anything, shouldn't. So much about our being here is mind blowing - and yet it mustn't be, I think, since the same thing that gave us consciousness was what also gave us everything else.
A few thoughts for perspective. We live in, from what we can gather so far, a Universe that is infinitely large. There is no edge, no wall, no cliff we would fall from, were it even possible for us to hop in a spaceship, travel at the speed of light, and ride 13.7 billion years into the past. If we used a telescope capable of sensing microwaves (a longer wavelength than those of visible light) and looked into the very beginning of time, what we'd be met with is a stunning screen of orange - the plasma left over from the very moment of the big bang, before our planets, stars, and particles were formed. Our galaxy, the milky way, is full of about 100 billion fellow stars; stars like our sun, which harbours life in planets just like ours. There are, in turn, about 100 billion galaxies in our observable universe; meaning that, since the milky way is considered average in size, we've got a lot of stars, a lot of planets, a lot of...possibility. All of these galaxies (with the exception of those in our "local group") are also moving away from us, at an ever-increasing rate. Think of this like a balloon with polka-dots on it, in it, around it - as the balloon constantly inflates, the dots are constantly moving apart.
Time, too, is interesting. We all live embedded in our own timelines, devouring each moment like a bar of soap consumed in slices, now, now, and now. We know our universe began roughly 13.7 billion years ago, but what before that? What was there before time? And what will there be after - a thought that we may never solve, as our universe gets increasingly larger, wider, onwards from infinity.
I'm 23 years old - a mere speck of dust (if that!) in the spectrum of all things floating around. But this is what should feel freeing, what should empower us - the concept that our being here is a true masterpiece; a miracle of physics, math and stardust. It's not ethereal to think of life this way, either - stardust, plus a smattering of consciousness, is truly what we are. When a larger star begins to die, the mostly hydrogen our galaxy is comprised of has already fused to become helium, then carbon, oxygen, neon. These elements eventually fuse their way to iron, if the star is large and hot enough - an element too heavy to fuse, where no further balance can be found. Gravity wins out, collapsing on the star, forming neutrons from protons and electrons in its densely packed core. In just over a minute, a supernova is born; something of which has provided the materials for our earth, our planets, our sun, us.
To me, since I've been existing in this area of study, life is brilliant just because it is; science today still doesn't know why or where we've got this consciousness, this ability to sense, judge, or love. It's a brilliant, beautiful thing to smile at the smell of salt in the ocean, to bask in or be blinded by the sun. It's even more astonishing to feel seen by another human; to share a moment of mutual understanding, to create art that captures what it means to be alive, now, on this aggregate of dust that fosters life, thought, and oxygen.
Whenever you feel weighed down - held down, even - by the system you feel you're stuck beneath, come back to these concepts, to science, to you. We don't get infinity on this planet, but we do get some time. We get enough time to make someone feel loved, valued, beautiful; we have enough time to buy an ice cream cone and tell our family we're grateful. We have enough time to choose to be happy; to choose to make our planet as safe and as loving as possible by subscribing to the belief that we are all, truly, miracles. We have enough time to speak up.
Time may be a construct, but so is everything we take to be impenetrable, non-negotiable, the status quo.
It is from human beings which came humanity; the concepts of how we should love, question, live our lives. So create what makes you feel alive, and be with people who encourage you to do so. Life is too short, too brilliant, too luminous, to not spend it in astonishment.
The cover Image depicts a colony of hot, young stars stirring up the cosmic scene in from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Here we see the Orion nebula, a place full of activity, where many stars are born.