One of the most significant and deeply moving photographs of all times was taken 50 years ago, on Christmas Eve in 1968. The first image taken by an astronaut of this inconceivable ‘blue marble in black ink’ rising over the lunar surface was taken from Apollo 8.
“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”
– Daniel Patrick Moynihan
We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realise.
– Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk and peace activist
Wood work at a cabin in Michigan.
“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’s Pale Blue Dot from 1994, read by the wonderful Neil deGrasse Tyson
If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.
Oh, I’ve had my moments.
If I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else- just moments,
one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had to live my life over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances,
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would pick more daisies.
– Nadine Stair, Louisville at 85 years of age
Boathouse and kayak at Nona’s house at Selden Cove.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
– Rumi, mystic Persian poet (1207-1273)
Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth, ‘you owe me’.
Look what happens with a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.
– Hafez, mystic Persian poet (ca 1325-1390)
“We need to treat other people the way they want to be treated. Which means we have to ask.”
– Kim Katrin Milan
So much wisdom in this TED talk by Tiq Milan and Kim Katrin Milan. So much to learn from.
“I would argue that nothing gives life more purpose than the realization that every moment of consciousness is a precious and fragile gift.”
– Steven Pinker, cognitive psychologist and linguist