Blink of an eye

I’ve been dragging my feet on writing a post because it stings to acknowledge that we’re in 2019, a year he never got to see. It seems impossible that time should keep ticking without him.

Yet here I am, surviving somehow.

I watched the Voyager episodes One Small Step and Blink of an Eye recently, and they immediately made me want to find a piece by Ann Druyan (Carl Sagan’s widow) that I knew I’d read.

Thinking of Blink of an Eye, for how beautiful and poignant it is watching a world grow from naively worshipful of an object in their sky, to sending prime numbers, to rockets, to destruction, to hope and exploration again.

And here’s a civilization that was absolutely clueless four or five hundred years ago about its own tiny world and the impossibly greater vastness surrounding it. We were like a little bunch of fruit flies going around a grape, and thinking this grape is the center of everything that is. 

Ann Druyan Talks About Science, Religion, Wonder, Awe . . . and Carl Sagan

And One Small Step, for the aspect of human inspiration in spaceflight sometimes meaning more than the hard science. For Seven, skeptical of the worth of it, ultimately sending back the astronaut’s corpse, risking herself by taking the time to collect more of his logs.

It’s a catastrophic tragedy that science ceded the spiritual uplift of its central revelations: the vastness of the universe, the immensity of time, the relatedness of all life and its preciousness on this tiny world.

It seems to me that the biggest challenge we face is to evolve a language that couples the cold-eyed skepticism and rigor of science with a sense of community, a sense of belonging that religion provides. We have to make it matter what is true. 

Ann Druyan

Also in this piece, I adore the turn of phrase “suffused with disarming candor.” It’s 3 of my favorite words crammed into one thought and I really like it for all it holds in its brevity. Makes me think of Zack and of one of our dearest friends. I could write a book just on that but it’ll have to wait for another day.

Of course, the essay is more famous for Druyan’s reminder that neither she nor Sagan believe in an afterlife, had no deathbed conversion, but took great joy in appreciating having found and understood one another.

The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.

Ann Druyan

To be seen, to be transparent to someone and still deeply loved and accepted, is luck beyond measure.

But we own nothing, nothing is ours
Not even love so fierce it burns like baby stars
But this poverty is our greatest gift
The weightlessness of us as things around begin to shift

Indigo Girls, Everything In Its Own Time

P.S. The Quote block looks beautiful in the Gutenberg editor in WordPress and then I don’t even know what this theme is attempting to do with it but it’s coming out a hot mess and I’ll fix the style someday. After I get the site switched to https and get akismet anti-spam working on my comments and you know, all the other webmaster chores that ain’t gonna happen so why am I pretending. I guess because if Zack were alive even he would notice how bad the line spacing is and so I’m embarrassed to leave it but I’m also trying not to give a shit about half-assing things more often.