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So there I was, speed set at a reliable 70, cruising back to Wisconsin. 1370 miles of butt squashing joy. It seemed soooo long, next time I’d fly, cover the distance at 550 mph instead. Then again, at least I wasn’t coming from Arcturus, the fourth brightest star in the night sky. More than 6 BILLION years old, the famed red giant star is “relatively close” astronomically, only 36.7 light years away, a mere 220 TRILLION miles. Let’s see, at 70 mph and $2.60 a gallon….
As overwhelming as the scope of the universe and the multitude of stars can be, their significance/symbolism strikes me as simple and very much down to earth. Relative to our short lives, they are everlasting, immutable, constant, and always true — don’t they teach us enduring existence is majestic, precious and awe inspiring? Don’t they suggest we should be humble and insightful enough to understand life needs be preserved whenever possible and in every form for the relatively few moments granted us? Isn’t that the greatest we can accomplish? Isn’t that the primary standard by which everything must be judged?
Baltimore thug or police officer, Muslim fanatic, soldier, Congressman, President, Iranian scientist or drone operator– all should be judged by the simplest, most basic standard: do their WORDS AND ACTIONS promote the preservation of life or incite and ease its taking. Are they worthy of our praise or our scorn, and how are we complicit?
Miraculous, mysterious, painful and jubilant, sublime and trivial…the human condition is all of that and God willing, this is meant as a forum for exchanging perspectives which might help illuminate our opportunity and our plight.
Watching Arcturus this week reminded me of the hubris of believing we might ever really be Worthy of the Stars…still, a small ripple can have a profound effect…and that star is roughly 7 billion years old, giving it one hell of a head start over a laughable 200,000 years of humanity.
Let’s try, for grins.