Long we’ve aimed telescopes to the sky, long we’ve pointed cameras into the spaces great thinkers declared empty for centuries before we arrived. Years we’ve aimed giant metal ears at the black above us and listened, nearly four decades we’ve listened, waiting for someone to echo back the messages we sent out, nearly four decades we’ve pondered the paradox of all that quiet. The Great Silence, we dubbed it, and hoped it did not mean they were hiding in ways we were not, that they knew hostility in ways we cannot imagine, and as such, live in some collective hush, some bubble of whisper and refusal to broadcast.
We are, without any room for doubt, lost in the darkness of this place. We are a blue ball spinning in the dark vacuum of everything else, half of us in sunlight, half of us in shade, waiting for our turn. Skyward we point our eyes, our ears — tiny and organic and so much less powerful — and try our best to listen, to hear the hum of creation that started long before us and will continue its song long after we’ve gone. We glance to the moon, still decorated with the footprints of mankind, and marvel at this tiny piece of light in a cosmic sea of night. We call it beautiful, don’t we, this bit of shine that waxes and wanes and grows from spark to ember to flame and back to a sliver of glow. One pinprick of luminescence and it feels like hope.
Strange creatures, we, stumbling through life so consumed with our terrestrial fascinations, turning these blinks of existence into operatic dramas we call life. The rise, the fall, the betrayal, the heartache; we are shaped by the concerns we hold onto, those we let go, and still we point our eyes to the heavens, still we look for light, still we name what we find and grant it the mythology of our imagination. Humans, strange and subtle and chaotic and so desperate for wisdom that comes only when earned by the passing of time, time we’ve not yet survived.
We are lost in the darkness, a truth but not one to mourn, for there is a lesson in the emptiness, there is a song in it too, the om like chanting hum that created all things, that created these eyes that seek out light, that made the ears that listen, metallic or flesh-like and weak. The lesson is simple, and it is here for us all to find:
It matters so little what lives in all that empty space, it matters not why all those voices are paradoxically so quiet, what matters is that we keep believing in it, that we keep looking up, daring to dream of bigger things, connecting the dots of the stars we find with the lines and constellations, the stories of our imaginations. It matters so little what we call the Great Silence, if we keep filling it with our own voices, but most of all, if we keep working to make the song we sing, the message we broadcast, one of peace, one of love. Let us be the best of us, let us link hands in all this darkness, and for a moment fall quiet enough to listen, to hear.
Lost in the darkness
the smallest bit of light is
Haiku on Life by Tyler Knott Gregson
Song of the Week
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