Takeback Tuesday: a reminder

Today’s TBT is a reminder from NASA and my friends at Boing Boing, that we are delicate and precious and the universe is very large.

That tiny dot between Saturn’s rings is us. You and me and everyone we love and hate and all our problems, right there. Our era may be one of strife and incredible idiocy, but it is also an age of miracles.


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  1. susan on April 25, 2017 at 10:32 am

    we “earthers” always seem to live in eras of strife and idiocy….perhaps even the very primitive early humans had such thoughts…but always remember that there are always miracles. the very fact that we are here is in itself a miracle.

  2. Diane on April 25, 2017 at 11:22 am

    So very tiny in the scheme of things. Amazing barely covers the feeling.

  3. Abbey on April 25, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Love this. Love Take back Tuesday too! Live the speck in space.

  4. Romona on April 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    I think Carl Sagan said it best…

    Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

    The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

    — Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

  5. Brad on April 26, 2017 at 1:20 am

    For an encompassing spiritual perspective, perhaps nothing compares to Rilke’s remarkable poem, “You, Darkness:”*

    You, darkness, from which I come,
    I love you more than all the fires
    That fence out the world,
    For the fire makes a circle
    For everyone
    So that no one sees you anymore.
    But the darkness holds it all:
    The shape and the flame,
    The animal and myself,
    How it holds them,
    All power; all sight —

    And it is possible: its great strength
    Is breaking into my body.
    I have faith in the night.

    *as translated by David Whyte

  6. Barbara Kline on April 26, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Dear Laurie,

    Thank you so much for this lovely reminder about our earth home. This certainly is a bright spot in all the political and social upheaval especially here and now.

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