Along the edge of ancient maps it used to say, 'Here There Be Monsters.' What does it say at the edge of your map and why does it say that?
Lying on my back, staring up at the sky on a warm summer night, my feelings are mixed and heavy. The stars present a concept that makes me uncomfortable: the stars we see every night might be dead already. Space is so big that we can't see everything happening all at once. It is a reminder that no matter how hard I try, I can't control everything, and more than that, I can't even perceive everything. There's always a facet of life that remains wild, spontaneous and unknown. This is both a cause of stress and comfort for me. The variable aspect often makes me worked up and anxious. Usually these fits of anxiety happen during the winter, when clouds and cold weather make stargazing nigh impossible and I sit in my contained room looking out of the window, straining to see the sky. But, on warm summer nights, lying on my roof, the universe becomes something to which I am connected and the universe becomes like a security blanket. Inexplicably, the comfort of knowing my insignificance makes every problem I have melt away and the universe becomes the playground of my imagination. On summer nights when the rest of the world falls away, the universe in, and of my, mind is filled with stories of unparalleled beauty, horrible tragedies, and planets filled with brilliant beings capable of all sorts of things we can't even comprehend. So, on my map of new frontiers, beyond the known universe, it reads, "here there be infinity."
Another college essay turned in by my daughter this week. I just had to share – her writing is beautiful, thoughtful, intelligent. Like her. I know I'm bragging…but what's a mother to do? Carl Sagan is smiling from the other side of the wide universe and I feel there is hope.
Photo Credit: Punam J R