“Dwell on the beauty of life.
Watch the stars,
and see yourself running with them.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
(credit: NASA ans ESA)
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth,
the iron in our blood,
the carbon in our apple pies were made in
the interiors of collapsing stars.
We are made of starstuff.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
It can be hard to find a place at night, free from light and clouds, where you can look up and understand the magnificent wonder of the Milky Way, other galaxies, and the universe.
It can be difficult to wrap your brain around the size of the universe. Of the numbers of stars, galaxies, planets, black holes, comets, asteroids, quasars…..out there. Or, that we are made of starstuff.
It can be humbling, in a good way, to think about our planet, our galaxy and the universe. To help us pause as we go through life caught up in all kinds of things. Feeling all kinds of emotions. And believing the stories we make up and tell ourselves about all kinds of things.
This post is kind of interactive. I hope you’ll take the time to listen and watch all the links.
“Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven
and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human.
Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe.”
Yo Yo Ma plays Bach’s “Sarabande”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1QzMNM94-s
or, Voices of Music playing Bach’s “Air”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzlw6fUux4o
Now that you’re in the mood, pictures of the Universe from Hubble, “Spectacular Cosmos”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St57hBxH_Fw
(If you’re up for it, you can open one of the music videos and also the Cosmos video in different tabs, should happen automatically, and mute the Spectacular Cosmos soundtrack and just listen to Bach to understand what Douglas Adams meant in his quote.)
These celestial entities are no longer there. They died out millions of years ago but we can still see their light. The infinite vastness of the universe is difficult to understand. It helps us understand that our little Earth is just a pale blue dot. And while it gives us the perspective that life on Earth is a unique miracle, it reminds us it is also one of many millions, billions of miracles out there. We will never know the extent of those miracles.
So, while you “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” also contemplate this:
“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing
in the same way that a wave
is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.”