A life of courage, joy and independence.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the perspective of living. Our work, family community and all the other important considerations of our quite impermanent here and now. Periodically my world view is upset by a perspective which places these lesser, mortal concerns into their proper sphere and orbit. A breakthrough vision of such scale, awe and functional asymmetry as to startle reason with its near perfect operation and quiet regular motions. Last night, while riding my motorcycle home through the desert I watched the sun settle over the western horizon, and then two small lights wink into view just five degrees left of where the sun had passed. The sun’s glow still blazed from over the edge of the Earth forbidding starlight from yet taking the stage. Yet these two lights remained and grew steadily as the sun’s light continued to fade. It was then that my mind took in what I was seeing, and I had to pull the motorcycle to the side of the empty highway, shut off the motor and stare. The greater glow I saw was the planet Venus, the brightest light in the sky after the sun and then the moon. The lesser light Mercury, the closest to the sun and near neighbor to Venus on the scale of planets. The Sun, Venus and Mercury. All in one view. I could see all three at once. The entirety of the population of the inner solar system. One true Astronomical Unit and all the major contents within. It’s was then that I could feel a bit of vertigo. A slight shift of ease while my balance succumbed to the realization that though my feet were flat upon the desert floor I nevertheless was standing at the edge of a sheer cliff, gaping into a maw and chasm of impossible scale and depth, and watching timeless bodies in motion orbiting next to a giant to whom we all must swear daily, wordless allegiance through the very act of living. The experience didn’t last. Soon the sun was gone completely and the stars began to appear in that sudden, secretive way of stars. Venus and Mercury lingered for a while though they soon followed their star over the horizon leaving me alone with the awakening cosmos. I continued my ride. Thinking over the experience. Parsing distance and scale within the solar system which I’d just seen with my own eyes, against the seemingly insignificant measure of my own concerns.