Song of the moment: Ruska Apocalyptica
I’d like to imagine that the handful of people who regularly read this drivel actually click on these recommended listening links at the beginning of posts. I’d like to imagine so for two reasons. First, because I actually go through the trouble of looking the songs up and linking them for your listening pleasure. Second, because I like to think that if you are reading this, you give enough of a shit about me/my thoughts/my interests to want to listen to what I’m listening to. Or, at least, to attempt it.
But today, I’m going to ask that you click that little link and listen to it as you read the rest of this. To get you in the proper mindset.
After a fuck-all of a day (long story I don’t care to elaborate on) that culminated in a Penny Blossom-esque bit of baking (heart cookies on a stick for my mum and her work mates), I went out for that glorious post-work cigarette.
And I sat there in the perfect darkness of a rural town, all my muscles screaming obscenities at me, pulling drags off a cigarette and staring up at the crystal clear expanse of sky. And the stars, so beautiful and present in the sky here, stared back at me like the lights of ancient civilizations. And as I am always aware, when staring up at the sky, they are the lights of long-off times and far distant places. I was sitting there, on a cold metal chair in mid-February of 2010, but I was looking at worlds thousands, even millions of years in the past.
Maybe that means nothing to you. Maybe, when you look at the sky, you see the little lights burning there and ignore them. But when I look up at them, I see history. You can study wars and civilizations hundreds of years gone, learn the shifting boundaries of countries and city-states from bygone days, look at the relics of life gone by… but nowhere else can you literally look into the past. You can see the universe as it was ages ago.
When I look up at the stars at night, I don’t feel small simply because of the vastness of space. I feel small and insignificant because of the vastness of time itself. When you sit there and orient yourself in all four large, noticeable dimensions (hard to orient oneself in the theoretical, rolled-up dimensions of M-theory/superstring theory), you have two choices. You can be overwhelmed, or you can look harder to see the intricate, beautiful puzzle that is life. The universe. Everything.
Unintentional Douglas Adams reference aside, when I sat there tonight, listening to nothing but this song and thinking, I felt a kind of perfect, universal contentment. I could hear my own voice in my head, unfettered by the people I know. For once, I was alone in my head.
It was nice.