Thoughts From Beyond the Window
T- 2h 14m
Entry Title: Watching it all go by
I'm sitting here on the launchpad, overlooking the valley and the mountains. But often, as I wait, it doesn't feel like I'm here now.
As I glance across the meadow and un-focus my eyes, I can watch the trees recede back into the ground. The mountains reform and then slide back into the earth. I can watch the flora evolve backwards as the years rewind before my eyes, just before the land submerges beneath a global ocean.
I can watch the planet itself run back its evolution. And I can watch the solar system un-condense, then the galaxy. I can see the unmaking of stars and watch as the universe fold in on itself. I can see the atoms un-forming as everything that ever was falls into a single point.
And then there is nothing.
I bring myself back, and this time I go the other way: I watch the rise of the human empire, Rife with ample atrocities and failures. But beautiful all the same. I watch as life reaches out to grasp distant stars, bringing with it all that it is.
Chaos and Beauty.
And I watch it fall. I watch the last star in the universe fade and the last bastion of life die out.
I shed a tear and bring myself back to now.
I'm sitting here on the launchpad, I'm tired and I'm scared. But suddenly, none of that matters.
T+ 1d 15h
Entry Title: Way Out Here
Weightless, a blue earth stretches out beyond the window.
Way out here, life is free from the Anthropocene. There seems no need for social politics, aspirations, or conflicts. There is only here and now. Only yourself and the whole universe in its most bare and perfect simplicity.
An unblemished playground for even the most wild of thoughts. Here there is no desire and no anguish, no fear and no anxiety. Way out here, beyond the sky, the laws of the universe are simple.
And so life is simple too.
T+ 46d 15h
Entry Title: So Small
Out here, it is glaringly, almost painfully apparent how small we are - how small the earth is.
And how big everything else is.
But what I'm realizing is how incredible that is. How impressive it is that we can be so tiny, such an infinitesimally small fraction of the universe. And yet there's so much that we can know. Even so small, we can understand so much about the whole we're a part of.
And we can feel. Emotions, I mean. Somehow, by some miracle of evolution, We're able to process our surroundings in this way that's almost beyond logic.
And I think it's worth just recognizing how truly remarkable that is.
T+ 126d 12h
Entry Title: Consciousness
I know all about atoms and how they collide. I've studied all kinds of collisions, the quantum and the subatomic, through chemistry and biology, all the way out to astrophysics.
All of it just atoms colliding – I can picture it.
But when I think about my brain – about my thoughts – it doesn't feel like just colliding atoms. It feels like more.
Like there's a whole two-pound universe in my skull that I can't begin to understand.
T+ 204d 7h
Entry Title: Storm clouds
On the far side of the crater, a red dust storm rolls in. Alarm sound calling us to shelter, but I can't help but admire it - its peaceful beauty.
I find myself analyzing it, thinking about its physics. About turbulence and the Navier-Stokes equation, the ephemeral dance of divergence and curl. About temperature and pressure and gravity. About the chemistry of the atmosphere. About chaos theory. And about how they all fit together to produce this thing before me.
But I'm missing something. In all my analysis, I overlook the most fundamental aspect of its existence: Its beauty. In attempting to understand it, I nearly forget to appreciate the simple miracle that it's there.
T+ 283d 3h
Entry Title: The Dance
I'm looking at the trees in the arboretum, and at the red desert outside. I'm thinking: what do the trees want? Nothing. Not really. They just are. And even though they don't want anything, they'll still transform the landscape outside one day. They'll make it beautiful, just by being.
That has me thinking: what is it that we want really? Sure, we can make complex decisions that think in a way that tree probably can't. But at the end of the day, what do we want other than to survive and reproduce? Nothing, everything else is just a byproduct. So how are we different?
We aren't. And likewise, we transform the world around us. Maybe to a beautifully as the trees, but we cut up the arid monotony of the universe.
Life, all life itself, is a dance – a performance to celebrate being.
T+ 385d 5h
Entry Title: All the Chaos in Nothing
Outside, a strap on a supply shipment flaps around in the wind. In wind that I can't see or hear or feel. But the strap shows me that it's there – the wind. Its violent dance reveals the turbulence in the air outside – all the waves and eddies in the invisible. It sees all the chaos in nothing.
I think we ought to relate, in a way. Because the universe is invisible except to us. We who learn to see it. We who appreciate it.
We who see all the chaos in nothing.