Interlude: That moment

Out for a walk recently, I was struck by a series of thoughts. Plus, it occurs to me that I have some crazy weeks coming up in April and should probably conserve my lazy pre-written just-post-it content so I can use it on those days when I won’t have any time to sit and write. So I should actually sit and write while I have a chance, and post this up remotely.

So. I don’t know whether anyone else gets this sort of thing when they’re woolgathering and/or stargazing, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. I’m talking about that momet when you look up, and see a light in the sky that looks like a very bright star. But then you realise that the sky’s too light for a star to show up so brightly and the light is too bright and steady, you think, to be a vehicle. It doesn’t seem to be flickering or moving. And for a moment, just a moment, you think “ooh, what if it’s not one of ours? What if it’s an alien spaceship flying just over there, checking Earth out for the first time after breaking atmosphere?

Then comes the moment when the object shifts, it gets closer and reflects less, you see the flashing lights on either side and you realise with disappointment “oh, it’s just an ordinary old aeroplane after all. Heh, silly.”

Then, just occasionally, comes the moment when you realise, “hold on, what’s ordinary about it? How is that just anything? Human beings, a bunch of monkeys just barely standing upright, dug rocks and stuff out of the ground and turned it into alloys and plastics and fuel and turned that into a massive machine that can fly through the air at hundreds of kilometres an hour carrying hundreds of people. Barely a handful of hundreds of years since we started using tools, let alone millions. And we fly. How could I ever have found that to be a let-down?

“How could aliens ever hope to be more weird and amazing than that? Humans are awesome.”

Sure, we could be in space by now – we should be – and we should be less crappy and idiotic to each other, but let’s not be too impatient or give too little credit to the Industrial Revolutionaries who literally paved the way for us. Because that’s the moment when you look down from the plane, and see the power lines, the houses, the roads and cars and lights, the occasional bit of roadworks where a seemingly random hole in the ground reveals concrete and plastic pipes, cables, all sorts of things.

It’s like it’s humans all the way down.

I had one of those moments, anyway. And it was super-cool.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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2 Responses to Interlude: That moment

  1. dreameling says:

    This reminded me of Louis C.K.:

    (Incidentally, I’m too entitled and jaded for those moments. Instead, when I stargaze, I mostly feel empty and insignificant, and it’s utterly crushing and just completely beautiful. I also feel infinitely sad about the fact that I’ll never get to visit any of those stars.)

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