Do you ever watch those shows on PBS that are about the Cosmos? Have you sat slack-jawed as Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson explained so clearly and in such detail how VERY SMALL WE ARE, and how VERY LITTLE WE ACTUALLY MATTER in our galaxy in this universe? …and that’s only the universe that “we” have observed, that we know. “…set my soul free. We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”
The boy who holds much of my heart has been practicing songs for a potential new job, going back to what I think he does best, which is make music and be amazing and creative, and the songs are all for a Crosby Stills Nash and Young tribute band. They are, most of which, songs I’ve heard on the radio for years, some of which I know well, but most of which I don’t. The lyrics to every one I have listened to, 23 of them to be precise, are powerful in many ways, and many are filled with deeply moving words that should (well I think some of them should) make one think about deeply moving subject matter.
I was thinking about this, how small and how insignificant we are, everyone of us, last night as I watched some of the Republican debate on CNN. Anyone who knows me or reads me should know by now that I am not a republican, have never voted republican, and often consider myself a social liberal and a fiscal conservative and rarely if ever vote for a person I feel represents ALL OF ME, or all of what matters to me, and frankly I think I write for us all when I share that in general I vote for the person who I most agree with on most topics, and who to me is the lesser of the two evils. It is also common knowledge to those who know me or read me that I am the proverbial black sheep of my entire family. I come from a family filled with love but extremely conservative views about most things, so we have, for years, agreed to disagree and seldom if ever do I have the joy of talking about things that matter to me with the people who matter to me. SO I spent years talking about what matters to me with other people, none of whom are related to me, and I finally, after years of struggling with this, accepted it; it is simply how it is…but in the scheme of things, none of it matters, much at all…we think differently about the same things and so what?
It matters to me, a lot, to feel that I’m well-informed and well-rounded; I try to learn about all sides of all things before I form an opinion of anything. So I watched the debate. What struck me the most, in the hour and 40 minutes that I gave myself to it, was how for me personally, SO LITTLE mattered…so little of what was talked about has any meaning whatsoever to my life; my little house, my little business, my little family…I got to thinking about how small I am in the big scheme of things…how small every thing is that has to do with me, in the big scheme of things. When you are white and part of the working class or middle class in America it is rather easy to get bogged down with upsetting thoughts, like, I forgot to put a stamp on my Nordstrom bill and now my payment is going to be late, or I have to get my new jeans hemmed, or my high-speed internet is slow, or my tire has a leak and my truck is overdue for an oil change, or, or, or…to us they could be a big deal, but really? Really, in the big THING that is US, LIFE, the world, the galaxy, the universe, does any of what “upsets” us matter?
So last night I finished a wonderful novel called The Nightingale that took place during World War II and my heart was heavy, I mean, what deeply moving subject matter right?! I had listened to CSN&Y songs a bit after work, as they are on a constant shuffle lately, while the magic of a musician’s brain learns them in his head, I had watched almost two hours of the debates, and I closed my eyes and had the most simple thought…everything is probably going to be fine in my life, and in yours, and I am nothing but billion year old carbon, and I slept better than I have slept in a very long time…