Anticipated Nostalgia

The Moon is in its Waxing Gibbous phase today. It’s approximately 70-percent illuminated, so its reflected light onto the neighborhood early this morning was considerable. Even without binoculars, I could make out irregularities on the Moon’s surface.

Ever since our species has existed, we’ve pondered the Moon. We’ve wondered about the Sun, too; however, looking at the Sun is harmful to the eyes and can cause blindness. I’m guessing that the Moon has been linked to the intuition and spirituality because its surface is so readily visible. Our only natural satellite is relatively close yet far away as an easy destination. The Moon has been the subject of many imaginative, fictional tales and has been the prompt for many a poem.

Our imaginary focus wanders away from the Moon onto the stars. We learn in primary school that the bright pinpoints of light are not necessarily individual stars. Millions of them are galaxies. A few of them are fellow planets circling our own star. Many people like me feel anticipated nostalgia for the future of the human race. Will space travel become ever more accessible to people in the future? Or will we blow it all in some global war that resets civilization back to its primitive beginnings?

We ponder the Moon again. NASA has active plans to convey humans to the Moon in the near future. Elon Musk wants to go to Mars. We remember that he sent one of his electric sports cars into orbit around the Sun in 2018. It has probably decayed into just another piece of space junk littering the Solar System. Meanwhile Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson are in a billionaires’ space race of their own. Will space rockets eventually replace oceangoing yachts as status symbols?

The Universe is so unimaginably vast, that we ascribe special powers and values to it. However, as Neil deGrasse Tyson famously said, “The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.” I agree with the popular astrophysicist’s further reflections that the Universe is not some sort of vending machine to satisfy our wishes. Yet it doesn’t cause harm to utilize the Universe to focus our attention to our highest yearnings. To achieve great things, we must take action and cooperate with each other and with our Earth’s physical assets. After all, we are part and parcel with the Universe.

“The stars don’t look bigger, but they do look brighter.”–the late Sally Ride

Our perceptions of the Universe are highly subjective. Our visions are filtered through our own beliefs and notions. Those fortunate humans who have gone beyond our planet’s atmosphere have mentioned their profound, personal paradigm shifts. Some compare their time in Space as a religious experience. Some mention that they have felt deeper empathy and compassion towards others. Others say that their minds were expanded in the psychedelic sense. I wonder how I would react to orbital flight. What would it feel like to physically travel to the Moon?

One must be careful when contemplating such thoughts. It is easy to drift into the lonely feelings of anticipated nostalgia. I know that my fond, childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut have become improbable due to age and health issues. Yet, the imagination still soars beyond the Milky Way Galaxy as I fantasize about incredible future journeys away from Planet Earth.

Ciao

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes science fiction writer, Larry Niven. “The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t have a space program.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Meanderings, philosophy, religion, Science and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Anticipated Nostalgia

  1. You raise some interesting questions. The Moon has also fascinating me since childhood.

  2. rkrontheroad says:

    I love the Neil deGrasse Tyson quote. There is so much around us and beyond us we will never understand, but I’m glad we keep exploring. It’s mind-boggling to imagine, but if humans live long enough, they should be able to travel to other worlds.

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