by Alex King
There are many types of pollution in the world today, but one of the most detrimental to Astronomers is light pollution. Light generated by cities blanks the night skies. Only the brightest stars can be seen in these places. Out here, in the desert of West Texas, however, cities are nonexistent, and the veil shrouding the stars is very thin.
My first experience with the change occurred the night before last. I found myself outside at night when the sky was clear and , as is my habit, I looked up. Holy hell. Absolute beauty glimmered down upon me from countless points of light on a backdrop black as pitch. Seeming to be just out of reach, these tiny diamonds gave testament to eons passed, representing an imposing permanence. Taking my all-important life and comparing it, I was humbled.
In the far and wide, we are an egocentric race, living our entire lives stuck in our own personal universes, naive and blind. Many never live to know the magnitude of their own obscurity. Placing my life next to that of these glorious celestial bodies, it passes as the flicker of an eye, barley noticed and wholly insignificant. Having lived consumed with my own success or failure, the message I was receiving, to put it in layman’s, was that I needed to get my head out of my ass.
Leafing through historical literature, I’ve found that the individual vanishes behind legacy. A single person is impermanent and frail, soon forgotten. Only those who have impacted the human race have been immortalized. Even so, the only immortal aspect is the impact. As a person, I will die and face, quickly buried under the inexorable sands of time. My only significance is the legacy I leave behind.
Put simply, I gazed upon a breath-taking canvass and saw in it a question. In the end, will I have added my own small brushstroke, or simply watched from afar?
Groove of the Day