“What we are made of will make something else . . . There is no nothingness — with these little atoms that run around too little for us to see. But, put together, they make something. And that to me is a miracle. Where it came from, I don’t know. But it’s a miracle, and I think it’s enough to keep a person afloat.”
On my bike ride to work this morning, I saw the moon setting in the Western sky, gossamer and holy. Almost other-worldly. I felt very reminded—indeed I feel very reminded every time I see the moon in a particularly well-defined state—that we are on a planet that is delicately suspended between other massive spheres of rock and gas in a giant expanse of space. How exquisitely, almost tragically fragile it all is: this fleeting existence. I thought of meaning—how as the coldness of the morning shifts to the warmth of midday, what I deem important or worrisome almost arbitrarily changes from moment to moment. It is merely the nature of existing on a spinning planet that revolves around an indifferent sun: time passes. Everything changes, always. To cherish—not lament—the delicacy of every moment marks the wisdom of the lucid soul.
Growing up, I would go on long road trips with my family throughout the U.S. every summer. I’ve been to, or driven through, almost every state. Instead of our actual destination, which was typically some monument or park or landmark, I always looked forward to the days when we’d just drive. 8 hours on the road was a great day to me. Even more than reading or writing in my journal, my favorite thing to do on those endless drives was to look out the window and listen to my mp3 player. After a Drury or Holiday Inn continental breakfast, I would climb into my seat furthest from the sliding door, put in my earphones, and settle into my imagination. The passing landscapes colored my mood; I felt the safety and closeness of my family in the car with me, the exterior connection with culture through the music, the emotional thrill of letting my mind wander. Daydreaming: the essence of youth.
(I’ve been listening to Feist’s 2004 album Let It Die this morning, which was always one of my favorite albums to listen to on those long drives.)