I wish I were an astronaut

Photo source:  Warner Bros Pictures - "Gravity"
Photo source: Warner Bros Pictures – “Gravity”

I love to daydream. My overriding daydream for as long as I can remember, is to go out in space.  I regret it is a dream I didn’t believe I could actually achieve, so I didn’t try.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

As a child, I believed that by the time I would be old enough to be one, astronauts would be able to fly through space in a super cool silver lamé space suit without need of anything like a jet pack.  Somehow, moving at my own discretion through the stars (I had no concept that stars were too far to get anywhere close to at that age, let alone the preposterous notion of self propulsion!), I was streaming past planets (and apparently super fast), through asteroid fields, braving near misses in the name of pure exploration.  Best.  Daydreams.  Ever.

No, there were no video games in my childhood, this was purely my imagination.

I was born 52 days after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon; the first to ever do so.  Why does that matter?  I dunno.  Useless, yet strangely relevant trivia?  Maybe it sets the scene of current events in my childhood?  Either way:  Space was where it was at, baby!  And I was enthralled.

Source: Time.com

Thank goodness someone in my life was a packrat, cause I still have the Time Magazine with that iconic image of Neil gettin’ ready to plant that flag in that rock on July, 20, 1969.  One small step, indeed.

For a period of time around the Challenger disaster in ’86, my hot-blooded desire luke-warmed a bit.  The reality of the inherent danger set in.  Suddenly, the very real risk was at the forefront of my mind and coloured my daydreams.  But as I do with everything, I cogitated on it, and I actually discovered something about myself.  I’m a risk taker.

For me, the chance for that discovery…that exploration.…was worth it!  I’ve continued to daydream about it regularly, with zeal and pleasure, since.

Not a cheesy graphic but a gorgeous original by AlienphysiqueSource: AndrewDavid1970.deviant.art.com 

These days, I still wish I were an astronaut as I cannot foresee another time or place in my lifetime where a civilian opportunity to go into space would otherwise present itself. (rueful smile)  Though, I suppose if I’m honest with myself, the opportunity to become an astronaut isn’t likely to present itself either!

Ah. Space.  The final frontier….

Those words filled my heart with gladness one night each week when we still had TV and as I discovered Star Trek, my eyes were filled with wonder at the greatness to be found in space and my desire to be there grew.

Aside from Spock (kiss, kiss!), my favourite parts were always the first viewscreen image of the planet to be explored.  That cheesy graphic of the make-believe planet (I’m not sure I accepted Star Trek was make-believe at that point) was the highlight of the show for me.  A new world.

When a fellow Canadian, Col. Chris Hadfield, was announced as the new Commander of the International Space Station, I literally wept with pride and envy (more pride).  I immediately warped to my dreams of seeing Earth from out there and exploring the unknown. For a moment the images were as vivid as when I was 8 years old and the longing just as real. (okay, so..more envy?)

Imagine the opportunity to see this incredible planet in its entire glory – all the macrocosms and immenseness of it one frame!  Imagine seeing the masses of green and blue and swirling white, without the imaginary lines we draw as boundaries and seeing instead, the pure majestic beauty of it!  Imagine seeing it not just above the clouds, (that truly terrifying, limited scope where you see your death a mere few thousand feet below you….sorry, I digress), but from outside and above the exosphere.  Beyond the bonds of gravity.  See the curve of the globe as it rotates on its axis.  The sun peeking around the curve of the outer sphere as you drift.  And beyond, a vastness you can’t comprehend even as you gaze upon it.  My heart soars – bliss.

I think Edgar Mitchell may have said it best:

“The experience in space was so powerful that when I got back to  Earth I started digging into various literatures to try to understand  what had happened. I found nothing in science literature but eventually  discovered it in the Sanskrit of ancient India. The descriptions of samadhiSavikalpa samadhi,  were exactly what I felt: it is described as seeing things in their  separateness, but experiencing them viscerally as a unity, as oneness,  accompanied by ecstasy.”

 

 Wishing you ecstatic daydreams…

Danielle

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5 thoughts on “I wish I were an astronaut”

  1. I always love to study an artist’s simulation of what it might look like on the surface of one of the moons of Saturn, for example: half the sky filled with the giant planet. Imagine seeing that every day!

    Great post, especially this: “…a vastness you can’t comprehend even as you gaze upon it.”

    1. 🙂 Isn’t that a gorgeous piece? And thank you. I have always been in awe of the true enormity of our universe and think on it regularly. It helps me to see how small the petty things on earth are by comparison and develop perspective.

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