I am swept away by the story of the Rosetta Mission and our landing on Comet 67P!
That it took over 6.4 billion kilometers to reach this landing strip, including all the gravitational assists needed to get our spacecraft there. That it all happened in just 11 years, barely a blip in the history of our species. Like the thousands of years that passed between our first cave etchings and our communication technology today. Also just a blip. Yet right now we’re receiving images from a place we can barely make out with technology we’ve dreamt up, built and sent out there into the vastness of space, to monitor and to study. Staggering. How many years was it from when the Wright Brothers first flew to Philae’s landing yesterday? 111 years. Hm, the number keeps repeating, 1-1-1…
Pure inspiration. I feel wonder and awe, curiosity and pride and love. I sense a deeper inner knowing, vibration and resonance in myself. Like something is calling. An echo…from the future. From inside the mystery. And again, someone has figured out a way to listen. So we can all listen.
Today I’m preparing my home for winter, my small rooftop apartment in Brooklyn and tuning into the live coverage from Europe as I go. It seems superfluous to spend time in this way, except that I have my hands in some dirt and that feels nice. I stop and gape at these photographs that are coming to me live. I see them the moment everyone else does, not a week or a month from now in a science journal. That alone blows my mind!
The rest of the news is there. The places on earth where this event has not touched down, where a man and a woman have not put down their arms and armor. That is the way of it too. Our heads are in the sand until they’re not. And every now and then we humans give ourselves a giant gift that says – Look Up!
This project was organized for no other purpose than to learn. Vision and science, hand in hand with technology. The ESA joining with teams in the U.S. and Asia, countries in every hemisphere. No political agenda, no race to be first, no “us-them” competitive underpinning. Pure exploration, pure curiosity, pure devotion. The best impetus in us.
But this is what I love thinking about most: how at this very moment in the hearts and minds of very young children all over the world something of a future purpose is being born. A switch is being thrown right now in this one and that one which will begin to grow and glow. That’s how it starts. Inspiration, then ignition. From the Latin inspiratio – with divine guidance.
A switch was thrown in me a long time ago. Artist, called to art. I did not heed the call for some years and then I did. Artists are being born right now, this second, over this event. Scientists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, philosophers, explorers, climbers, visionaries, dreamers and creators are all being turned on by this glimpse into the heavens and our deepest yearnings. We need all these switches thrown. All the switches that would lead us beyond ourselves and back again. All the flames that would illuminate our pathways, and make of night our days. That would take us beyond the “I am I” and “you are you” and just simply orient our eyes on the stars which did surely birth us and to which we will surely return. One, by one. One.
I see in Rosetta a mirror for all that is available to be sought and explored, in the world outside and the one in here. This achievement, this determined and carefully stewarded mission and all that are like it, shows us just how far we can travel outside ourselves, peacefully and openly. And how far we can go in the other direction, peacefully and openly. For the mystery is one and the same. I believe we can revel in the mystery of space out there because we in fact can revel in it inside ourselves. We sent that probe because we are that probe. We are that return. And, in the span of a few days of life when measured against it all, we are the landings. All of them.
The actual first words spoken from the surface of the Moon, by Buzz Aldrin on 20 July 1969 when Apollo 11 landed.