you can walk around for an entire life and not know about the things beyond you. there is a lot to know but we are small and life is very long. out there, past the sky, lives un-numerable places. there live stars bonking against each other, who live for lifetimes of millions of human beings
tex and i used to walk the beach at night when we were kids. we would sneak out of his parents' house at midnight and walk along the lonely beach in the north bush on clear warm nights and talk about the stars. we would stare at them for long stretches of times, walking drunkenly, until we barely felt that we were hanging in space, which we are. dangling, in truth, on the edge of a planet. if you look up at the stars for a long time, you can feel that you are hanging in the middle of this big black ocean, that you are casually standing in the middle of forever.
and we would ask all the questions, there must be other living things up there looking in our direction, maybe hanging off that star, or maybe that one in particular. and how far does it go? they don't know, we would answer, they don't even know how far it is. they guess. and it's such spaces that its bigger than you or me or the country or the continents or the planet or even the sun, which is just small, just tiny, in that heavy dark.
this is the whirlpool galaxy in infrared. infrared is a low energy light that just drifts along, but it shows you a lot of the light because its so fat and long. so we are looking at the burning light, the living burn, the terrible destroyer that gives birth every second to a million bits of life. the fire that would erase you, the fire that makes everything.
and this my friends is a galaxy, elegantly turning like a lake, that looks like a dot of light maybe in the sky. in it are millions of little stars that are bigger than your eyes can take in all at once or bigger than your heart such as it is can feel. in it are maybe more like us, little things travelling and wondering. no different than an ocean with a million phytoplankton dangling in the currents. i can see its incredible life coming out of that mouth in the centre, like a sex organ, like arclight, like the raving of a hydrogen bomb.
here is us looking down at us, blossoming into a traveller. maybe we will become one, and change and think about everything the way stars do, or maybe not. maybe we will just hang around here having petty arguments. the stars feel familiar to me, like places i know, i guess they are around us, i guess before we were born they were here, i guess they are our mothers and fathers?
i don't know. i guess i wish (and its a strange wish) that i could go and meet them like me and tex wished a thousand times, that we could go and see all the stars and galaxies and planets and ask them all kinds of questions,