Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dream on, kid

I just did my favorite education/public outreach demo so far to a high school class in Chile. The kids were really good at driving the rover, not getting stuck on rocks or driving crazy because of the 4 second delay between a keystroke and seeing the result of the motion on webcam. (The delay simulates the logistics of off-planet exploration.) I loved seeing them smile as they operated the rover. They looked so happy. I would be too if I was 15 years old driving a NASA robot on another hemisphere. The applause at the end of the session was heartwarming.

When I was in 3rd grade, the teacher had us draw or paint a nearly life sized body and put a photo of our face on it. I drew an astronaut suit. My parents still have it. When I was in 2nd grade, I etched and painted a psychedelic shuttle on a clay tile. When I was a toddler barely able to walk, I fell asleep on a hammock with a small picture dictionary on my face. The page I was on was one depicting planets and space related words. I still have both the clay tile and the picture dictionary. And now, where do I find myself? Near a world famous observatory with a beautiful view of the heavens every day, rain or shine. Here I am tearing up again at the sheer brilliance of destiny or whatever you call it. I still feel like I'm dreaming as I walk into my room in solitude.

I have so much to tell my young self. I would tell him not to worry so much about what other people think of him because it'll ironically just make him less attractive because no one likes a phony trying to conform. As I grew older, I began to fear the difficulty of projects. I would tell him to continue doing impossible things without a care for how long it takes or how hard it is. I would tell him that romantic relationships are one of those impossible things but to take care not to assume it will eliminate all of his problems. I would tell him to practice self-love now because it doesn't get easier if he habituates in the other direction.

Now at 31, reading this as if my 50 year old self were admonishing me, I have trouble accepting this advice. "Yea, right, old man. You've forgotten what it's like to be young." So instead of further giving answers to life lessons, I would just give him a calm smile and a fearless hug. I would express through my demeanor that things will be all right. I would tell him yesterday's dreams that I'm living today and my dreams today that I know will be fulfilled tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Inner Being

Who is this inner being?

It is the part of me that knows of eternity. It has no fear of death. It understands this physical reality as a subset of reality. A fun game. A play.

It puts obstacles in the way as part of the game. Every problem that arises is exactly the problem I need, is exactly the contrast I need to clarify where I want to go. The going is as enjoyable as the getting to. Desire is as endless as eternity, and that's a good thing to the inner being, who enjoys fulfilling each and every one of them.

The inner being knows that everything is as it should be, just as it is and just as it is changing.