Let us, just you and I, sit down outside and look, metaphorically, at the sky.
And then, let us think about what we are, you and me.
And what are we?
Giant animals – really, very large animals – crammed to bursting with thousands of millions of other, smaller, organisms, from the bacteria which swim along our guts to the mites which crawl along our eyelashes. And furthermore –
We are masses, agglomerations of organs, skeletons and muscles, nerve tissue and blood, wrapped in skin and mucous membrane, to hold us in and protect us against the touch of the world;
And these in turn are composed of molecules large and small, huge proteins like coiled anacondas, tiny water molecules, calcium in our bones and teeth, potassium and sodium ions to help us move and live;
All these, furthermore, are made up of atoms of this and that and the other, carbon and hydrogen, nitrogen, and the oxygen which we draw in with every breath to help us burn the rest in internal factories, putting out the energy that keeps us going.
And those atoms are made up of protons and neutrons held tightly together in clumps, surrounded by a whirling cloud of electrons, which are in turn –
Made up of baryons and mesons, which are all further comprised of quarks and antiquarks;
And all these, all of them, are tiny, tiny, compared to the space they occupy.
We are almost entirely empty space, you and I.
And now, look, look up to the stars, and see. What are we?
Two little apes, side by side, shrinking to two tiny infinitesimal specks of protoplasm on the crust of a ball of rock, turning and turning around a modest ball of fusing hydrogen gas, known as a sun;
A sun that, in turn, is just a star, in an outer arm of a spiral galaxy, one among a thousand million others, far, far away, even at the speed of light.
And that galaxy is itself one of a thousand million others, spread across time and space, on the outer bubble of an expanding universe, little dots of matter in the eternal cosmic night.
That is what we are. Made up of something that is mostly empty space, part of something that is mostly empty space.
And we are here just for an instant, you and I. A few tiny revolutions of this rock around this ball of gas ago, we did not exist. A few revolutions from now, we will not exist. And in time, this ball of rock will not exist, either.
And when the last red sun burns out, there will be
Silence. And the dark.
But we are here in this instant, and there is warmth and light, and we waste it in
Hatred and exploitation, and the slavery of our emotions
To the cruelties of a world that could not care.
I do not have a solution, I must say. Hold me close, put your head on my shoulder, let me feel you.
Perhaps tomorrow it will be different, but tomorrow is just another day.
Copyright B Purkayastha 2015