Space to Nick Omahen

Space (I believe in)

I’m tired of this world, everything’s fucked,

and people are the worst.

Okay, okay, I exaggerate, I’ll admit;

But it seems to me,

if it’s here with us

Sooner or later, we’ll turn it to shit.

Space though?

We’ve telescopes to see,

and minds so to

wonder eternally;

but not much else, as

of our reach, it’s still free;

And so we’re left voyeurs to behold

alone, great cosmic infinite.

But that’s the beauty of it;

immutable, immortal,

unsympathetic to our lives;

a hopeful enigma, each galaxy

scintillating in possibilities infinite.

Space is the great equalizer;

for though we woe and want

and in all places find schism,

to the pale blue dot,

it responds only with

beautiful nihilism.

I was always someone who struggled to be passionate about the world, sedated on the easy dopamine fix of scrolling and clicking and binge-watching Netflix. I coasted  (poorly) through the scholastic track that’s delivered to every suburban youth, which really amounted to watching days pass me by.  I didn’t attend my high school graduation because nothing felt ceremonious about it to me, and I signed up for community college because I thought, “What the hell am I supposed to do now? College, right? That’s what people usually seem to do.” I wanted to be a different person, someone engaged in the world around them, but I didn’t even know where to start.

A couple of years back I signed up for an observational astronomy course, and on a “Why not?” sort of whim volunteered for an astronomy outreach program that was advertised there. They taught you about the constellations, how to operate telescopes, etc and had you interact with the public; you know, give presentations and show people cool shit through a telescope. And I really liked it, actually. Next thing you know I’m taking whatever astronomy the school offers, I’m tutoring it, and buying my own gear to go observing. And now I’m here, studying astrophysics at UCSC (which I’m stoked about!). So this is what space is to me – a path to becoming the kind of person I had always hoped I could be.

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