One of the most amazing sights in my life was while sitting in the middle of the Northern Iraqi desert on a border mission with nothing whatsoever as far as the eye could see. What I did see was more stars in one glance than I’d probably ever seen in my whole life combined. And yes, the Milky Way is real. If you can appreciate it, it will in fact, take your breath away.
I’ve come close to seeing it again as I drove a semi-truck route through northern Oregon and stopped for a much needed rest. It was high on a ridge where I pulled off and I crawled up and sat on the top of the trailer to see the asteroid shower come down as if I was in a Star Wars scene.
No matter your position on ‘greater’ things, there is no denying the amazement when you put in perspective the sheer insignificance we have in this universe.
We can comprehend the smell of a loved one’s scent, or the taste of our favorite meal. We can comprehend the reality of something that we purchase with money… but even though the stars are right in front of us, can we really comprehend the truth?
Living in Southern California is not the best place for seeing stars. Period. Even if I drive out into the desert there’s too much light pollution to really see the amazing stuff.
The few times I can look up in traffic at night I may see a star or two (or planet… whatever). I know it’s nothing magical. It’s a tangible ‘thing’ that is there. Science can explain the rest.
What it really does for me is remind me that no matter how much I try to deny it, there is a purpose for this crazy life. I stare at a star as long as I can to try and clear my mind to make sense of it. I put my mind a million miles away to force a disconnect from the constant noise I hear every day in my head. Some days I can’t stop it. Not alcohol, not sleep, nor anything else I’ve done in my past can silence it.
Sometimes I yearn for the presence of another person but I am constantly smacked in the back of the head with reminders of betrayal over the years. I lose myself in it, and in turn I lose control of what I need to be for everyone else. Tonight, I saw a few stars and it brought me back to reality quicker than I could look away to see the car in front of me slowing down. We really need to take a step back and see the bigger picture. Not just in space, but this life in general.
I miss the stars. I miss going home, sitting outside with a beer (and even a friend) and doing nothing but contemplating what this damn life is all about. I think it’s time for a slight change in my life. I say slight, because it appears my gypsy lifestyle doesn’t scream ‘stable’ to other people. My apparent ‘issues’ from my past are more apparent than I’ve ever given myself credit for. Hurumph…
If we could all just take some time, prop up the camping chair, crack open a cold one, and leave our problems behind we may find something that has been right in front of us this whole time but we haven’t admitted it to be true. Or maybe I’m full of shit and all of this is a joke… Anyone want to take me to the looney bin?