Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans
Oh, when you love it. Caitlyn Siehl (via insanity-here-i-come)
When my husband [Carl Sagan] died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me — it still sometimes happens — and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again.
Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous — not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous and so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful.
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 (via carbonqt)
from time to time but never
do you from my mind. Daily Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson (via tylerknott)
Eyes Set Upon You
There are a couple of survival skills you need to learn when you have to live a life like mine. It is not a life of great suffering, though often it feels like it takes all your energy to move on to the next frame, shuttering slowly back into motion.
The rule that I have been most adamant about is: not looking at you. In person, you’re so wonderful and warm that I forget that I’m even supposed to like you. But when I’m alone, a picture of you causes my heart to crash against my heart. I went wave sitting, and even just small waves caused me to toss and turn. In that same moment of playful pushing, I imagined what a tsunami must feel like. I can understand why they would attribute such a terrible power to gods and not just simple inclines of land. It feels like a giant tidal wave came out of nowhere.
So, no looking – ever. It’s too painful. Too painful to be filled with wonder and the truth – the truth that the sea does not stir when your eyes set upon me.
I just made the terrible decision to break my own goddam rule. What the fuck is the point if I’m not even going to follow what I make for myself? I looked into your eyes for just a second longer. Watched your smile for a little too long. Like Icarus, who had only flown just a little longer than he should have.
I’m sure he have must known the pain. To be embraced by the sky and to be melted by the sun. Light that creates and destroys. Almost makes me wish I believed in a sin against looking at you. But the only sin is how I make myself feel.
See, I’ve liked people before and gotten over it. You should just let go of the thoughts slowly, reminding yourself, no this is not how I want to be. But whenever I try with you, it just all crumbles.
I’m a grand architect building homes along the shore. A goddam fool who can’t even think about you outside the context of a great and vast ocean.
See, that’s the problem. I try really hard to not treat you like this impossible figure that lives in my head. Impossible because you are not crashing waves, you do not encompass the world. Impossible because you will never feel about me the way I feel about you.
It brought me indescribable happiness when you said I love you as you are, that you wished more people loved you like I did. I didn’t say anything regarding how I felt about you after that. You knew, as I am sure you know now. But I wonder if you know what its like to understand.
Not the pain, I know you know the pain. But one day I looked at you and I realized that this was not the first time you had filled me with awe. That every time I set upon you, the world, and you, were born anew. I would love you forever.
A B(roken) Mind
Intelligence beyond compare has always been my burden. Hmm, that’s not quite true. See, there was a time when all my mind would calculate was how awesome my next power could be. At first, I collected keys that held the essence of the elements. My adventures would range from fiery mountain tops to wrestling great whites under the vast blue sea.
Before I could finish classwork before you even read it, I was weaving worlds behind my eyes. Rolling hills were lands of the dead and I would wipe of them with my super ultra mega attack (that of course is the coolest laser beam you’ve EVER seen).
Everybody can look at the way I see hydrocarbons and feel like I’m the next step – for me, for them, for the world. But they don’t know that I know that the next step is that a giant monster is gonna crash from the sky. A wild beast, tearing bricks from tall buildings, chewing concrete like a snack, with no one to stop it. It’ll come straight after you, the main love interest, and I would intercept it skillfully; catch its massive claws with one hand and I’d turn back and wink at you. With a forceful twist of my arm, the beast would writhe in pain. Magic sword in hand, a swift strike beheads it.
I guess I was bewildered when they expected greater from me. My favorite pass time was not calculating pi, or solving the mysteries of the world. It was creating the ultimate romance. My powers would always tie to you. Tie to the winds beneath your hair. For every one of the molecules that made you, was another newton of strength (a trillion of newtons make me, like, the best superhero you’ve known). In a difficult battle, when my enemies were so great that I could not fell them in one swoop, you’d pick me up and with a maiden’s kiss of love, melt the enemy away.
I never wanted to be the best student you’ve ever known. I did not want brilliance so bright, it blinded everyone around me – to me. I’ve wanted to sacrifice myself for the world. When even your kiss won’t make all the pain go away, I’ll look back with a smile, and release my ULTIMATE form. The one so deadly it costs my life. A bright golden light in the sky flickers until it leaves nothing, nothing but you and the world I wanted to protect. I wouldn’t even know if you loved me, I wouldn’t make a story after that. Because all I’ve wanted is the bravery of a hero, his tragedies.
The world around us is filled with mystery. The secrets of the universe, the mind are still unanswered. I don’t even care for the fantasy world, I just want to be someone I’d admire. Someone with a crooked smile, with unparalleled character. I’m not. I’ve just got the mind that races on a treadmill while everyone is walking on the track. They don’t know that all my dialogues are with you, or that my favorite stories are the ones where I lose. I guess what they say is true: art reflects life.
The Sands of Time
It had been a long time since I laid back in water.
Things have been coming back to me lately. When I stepped on the sand, I didn’t remember the vacation a couple years ago, I didn’t even remember last Tuesday. I went back to the beginning – of me. To the days where my mom’s story of me running to the ocean when I could barely walk seemed real. The shifting of the earth coincided with the shifting in time. Each grain was a neuron ticking back the time until, little by little, I felt that I was in an old home. Not in the same way you might return to a place you used to visit and realize that it is not the same place, and that you are not the same person. I felt the world as I once did, candidly, without fear, and with a pure love of the vastness that stood before me.
I had tortillas, at a dinner with friends, and I couldn’t help but be warped back to my grandparent’s house. I was at the table, watching my mother and her sisters make tortillas and lay them on the table in front of us. The house built around them. They had a sink that was outside the bathroom and I always thought it was weird. But it was hard to forget how Papi Abuelo scolded me for not washing my hands right. Just next to the table was the screen to the outside, where we played hide and seek. Once, I tried to carry my sister in a wheelbarrow out there, but ended up needing a cast for my leg. I always thought that made me the strongest boy I knew – I could walk by the end of the day. I was also with my mom a month ago, when she made tortillas by herself (“You gotta watch out for how they rise. Press down gently on them.”), with her when she bit into one and said, “This reminds me of when we ate these every day.” I nodded, letting my tongue remember what my brain could only stutter out: home.
Resting on the ocean today was a little different. It was harshly cold, like it didn’t want any visitors. “Go away!” each wave seemed to scream. Yet, here we stood, playing despite the pain, alongside numbness. I managed to lay on back for a second, and felt myself envelop with a comfort. The kind of comfort that danced with the pain of knowing that right now, I am in swimming class with my childhood friend. He dove deeper than I could, and held his breath for longer. I envied his ability to be so submerged in the water. The comfort came from being able to move to freely into rest. As freely as one might fall asleep. At first you struggle with consciousness, with air. But then you feel the edges creep around you, and you are not sunk, but your body leaves itself with the water, your dreams.
As I was walking out of the vast sea, I knew that I had felt that comfort elsewhere. The way that something envelops you, reminding you all too much of the pain you will know, but also of the dreams you hold.
I knew it, first, as your smile.