Expectant extant

Published December 20, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been pondering today.  Today could be the last day, (But then again, couldn’t any?) I know a lot of people will be going bat poop crazy, so just in case the Zombies, the Mayans or the cast of Supernatural (mmm, Jared Padalecki)decides to pull the plug on the whole grid tomorrow, these are some things I have been thinking about.

Carl Sagan, who is way smarter than me sums it up pretty well.

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

I don’t think Zombies are going to ooze forth from the Earth’s crust tonight at Midnight, but I do think people are going to be stupid, no matter what.   Some schools are closing tomorrow (Michigan) because they are afraid that something is going to happen because of threats that have been made on Twitter.  (I could not make this up.)

But last week wasn’t the purported end of days, and someone committed a heinous stupidity. (I can’t even think about that because it makes my brain shut down. (Which may pop me under the Zombie radar, come to think, or not think about it.)  I, for one, want to hear my kid’s voice sometime this evening, not because of the whole End o’ the World thing, but because he’s flying out of NYC tomorrow, and stupid crap happens to him on a regular  basis.

No matter what happens, all we have left is the words we spoke and the thoughts we shared.  Every choice we made during our time on the Pale Blue Dot.

Today was fun. I have a roof over my head and enough income to afford me a tasty coffee beverage. I have the bandwith to view a video of my 16 month old niece dart around and decide that she no longer required her shirt, then pat her stomach when she succeeded in stripping.  I am lucky that my other nieces live in a place where they could go to school and make it home safely.   I got to spend time with each of parents this week. I hugged my husband recently (I was asleep when he got home last night and when he left this morning.) I got to sleep with my head resting on a freshly laundered bunny.

There’s enough cat food in the house to feed the stray that hangs out in our driveway.

All things considered, it’s been a good day.

Ideally I will be around to post tomorrow.

If not, try and outrun the Zombies, or at least be faster than the next guy!

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