Saturday, October 31, 2009

Longing for the Stars

I observe – and bit of complain – that the advancement of technology is not at all that dramatic and fast compared to what happened in the 90s. The span of the Wright Brother’s first glider plane to Apollo 11 was only for several decades! (If the Americans did really go to the moon, in which Moon Landing Hoax Conspiracy theorists think otherwise. And even if MythBusters did some experiments to argue off those conspiracy points that the conspiracy theorists raise, I am still suspicious and not entirely convinced that the Americans did manage to go to the moon. This is an interesting topic, but this is not the essay to discuss this.) Talk about dramatic and fast technology advancement.

Anyway, the thing that I am really bothered about is the era of space colonization or widespread space travel may not happen in my lifetime. If the rate of advancement of technology, particularly flight technology, was maintained (the rate of the first airplane to first moon landing) I believe it could happen in my lifetime, at least its initial phase. But since it slowed down, a dramatic slow down that was as dramatic as it was advancing in the 90s, I fear it would not happen soon.

Why am I concerned? Well, one particular childhood dream that I did not outgrow was my desire to go to space – to see our planet from space; to walk on the moon, Mars, or/and any unknown planet; to experience weightlessness; to see a black hole; to see the beauty and magnificence of galaxies and stars up close. If I write on what are the things I want to do or experience before I die, this would be number one in my list. I think it was my reading of encyclopedias and books about space that planted the seeds of this dream. (Kids are prone to get interested with these science stuffs, which is usually about outer space or dinosaurs. I was interested in both back then.) In fact, I was four when I had my first dream on what I want to be when I grow up, and that was to be an astronaut.

Though I had long lost the dream of becoming an astronaut (because of the harshness of reality that turns every kid’s romantic dreams or idealism to cynicism instead), I had never lost my interest on everything about outer space. I read and watch sci-fi. News related to space always catches my attention. I always admire the beauty of photos of space. I love the clear night starry sky. I had never lost my love of the outer space and my dream to go there someday.

Now that I am grown up, practical but cynical, the realization of this dream seems to be impossible (the slow advancement of space flight is one factor). In a way, this has taught me a life philosophy. In life, I will not always get all I want, and I am at peace with that. But, still, it is not wrong to continue loving, and dreaming, and praying. I love the starry night skies, and I still dream of reaching those stars, even if it’s impossible. Instead of being depressed on a seemingly unattainable dream, it is better to make it an inspiration instead.

Another thing why I want to reach outer space… Nature’s beauty is the fingerprints of the Creator. And In all of God’s creations, I am most impressed of space. Yes, God is real to my life and he had shown his glory to me many times. But I desire of an ultimate visual aid – which is the immensity and beauty and grandeur of space – which would make my heart burst with fear, and awe, and love, and joy, and praise for the awesomeness, and power, and greatness, and bigness, and splendor of my God. This I long for before I die, so I would have a dramatic prelude for that day when I finally see my Creator face to face.

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