Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

  • Music:

distant shores

"In the life of each of us, I said to myself, 'There is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness".--Sarah Orne Jewett

Sometimes when you look up into the night sky, the Milky Way looks like bursts of milky stars, just as the astronomy books suggest it might. You hear inadequate songs, like "Across the Universe", playing in your mind. You think of distances and great voids and, in my case, of creatures in other places on distant shores looking up into their own night skies.

You don't really learn from this experience, as it teaches only facts you've known since you were six. You just "have" this experience, a sort of awe combined with a sort of lonely distance.

Sometimes, reading a weblog, you hear a lonely voice off far away, and you wish you could take some concrete step to help, to solve and to fix, but you realize that you're just looking up at the sky, and these are stars so far away. Then you realize that the people around you--at work, in your neighborhood, at the restaurant--all have their own nebulae-filled voids, and you cannot fly to any of them, even if you launch the most powerful rocket with the best of your skill.

So you come to realize, in life, that you're no rocketeer. No waters are parted, and no water made wine. All you can be is a voice, and a friend, and a neighbor and a community member. It may not be "enough", because "enough" is so elusive. But it is what you can be. You'd do what you could, you'll be what you can, to make connections, and to reduce the void. You don't always know how, but that's what you'll do. You long for a deep-sky telescope, and a rich field of stars, and a night without clouds.
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