Adrift in Space and Time

Now this is going to be fun!
It truly does feel great
to realize we all are one.
So we shall meditate.

This meditation’s rhyming verse
describes a paradigm
of us inside this universe,
adrift in space and time.

It’s nice that we can simply start
by recognizing how
a check of every body part
can help us be here now.

We feel our bellies and our heads
and just become aware
how arms and hands and feet and legs
are feeling everywhere.

Between and through them circulate
our blood-streams to refresh
the oxygen that activates
awareness in our flesh.

And as we slowly breathe we find
that doing so can draw
us into a more present mind
to feel the moment raw.

With every breath we take and leave,
we clear our inner eyes
and fully, lucidly perceive
each second passing by.

Our mindful meditative selves
grow out of living meat
and help our bodies stay in health
by finding what we need.

So let’s do that now. Let’s explore
and see what’s to be found.
Outside our bodies, there is more.
Let’s take a look around!

Unless we’re blind we’re free to see,
unless we’re deaf, to hear
and realize we’re utterly
surrounded by what’s here.

This place surrounding us here now
where we consider this,
is just as present, anyhow,
as our breathing is.

Our breaths connect within the air,
within the atmosphere.
The envelope of sky we share
is also part of here.

We also share what rests beneath:
Our bodies’ place of birth
from which came all who now here breathe
as children of the Earth.

Of course there’s more than senses show
around us near and far.
The sky above, the Earth below;
there’s more to where we are.

To North and South, to West and East,
the world goes on and on,
the planet every plant and beast
and we now breathe upon.

Of all the Earth, we barely know
the surface we begrime,
upon the spinning rock below,
adrift in space and time.

Our calm and meditating minds
can feel this easily.
Imagination goes behind
all things our eyes can see.

To find, as further out we go,
whichever way we face,
to left, to right, above, below,
the solar system. Space.

It’s blacker than the night of course
and bigger than the sky
and it is hard to see because
it was not made for eyes.

It effortlessly overwhelms
imagination. Still
and everywhere around this realm
extends and always will.

Around us all and everyone
we’ve met or ever can,
extends the system of the Sun
that dwarfs all realms of man.

Out there, all human joy and strife
and knowledge matter not.
Out there, this fragile ball of life
is just a pale blue dot.

And there are other, bigger dots
and countless asteroids.
This Earth is one among a lot
around us in the void.

Yet all of them combined appear
like specks of dust compared
to one enormous blazing sphere,
the center that they share.

A thousand times as ponderous
as all that circles it,
it radiates splendiferous
and indiscriminate.

It weighs three-hundred-thirty-three
times thousand times as much
as Earth, which seems like mere debris,
a tiny circling smudge.

There’s hydrogen inside the Sun
that lets it shine so bright
by burning up: Four million tons
per second fuse to light.

This fusion forges helium
and other specks of dust
that constitute the medium
from which grows life like us.

But near the Sun, its gamma rays
and heat do not allow
life smart enough to be amazed
at what is true here now.

And further out, it stays too cold
for molecules to toy
with games of entropy that mold
the life that we enjoy.

While outermost, in blackest night,
drift frozen rocks so far,
to them our splendid sphere of light
looks like another star.

We’re lucky Earth is temperate
or life could not have spawned.
This planet would stay desolate
and all of us unborn.

As fully as we do depend
on Earth that we live on,
we also clearly understand
we’re children of the Sun.

And yet the Sun, though all must spin
around it, merely is
a rare domain of light within
a yawning black abyss.

In outer space surrounding us
lie distances too great
for us to easily discuss
or even contemplate.

For space is mostly nothingness
around us everywhere,
the freezing dark is limitless
in empty space out there.

Of course there is some gravity
that massive things impart
and maybe some dark energy
that pushes them apart.

But nothing’s there to hear or see
or smell or taste or touch
and trying to imagine, we
can think of nothing much.

And still we feel, for what that’s worth,
beyond the seen and near
the vastness outside planet Earth
that’s real now and here.

In meditation, we somehow
expand our minds to try
to feel the system we are now
and here surrounded by.

The moons and planets we can see,
as far as we have found,
are lifeless. Earth now seems to be
the only game in town.

Yet all these places we could go
and cultivate and fill,
are merely specks in what we know
remains much bigger still.

The stars, these many tiny lights,
each are a blazing sun
and circling them, caught in their might,
are planets being spun.

Yet humans cannot see that far.
The pixels of our eyes
are just too few, which is why stars
look like they’re equal-sized.

Through telescopes, we understood.
The stars all shine so bright
that only monstrous distance could
dilute them into night.

These distances define the space
that all stars occupy
and make a single, real place
that we’re surrounded by.

The stars that shine all night and day
within or out of sight
are what our home, the Milky Way,
appears like from inside.

Our Milky Way contains at least
one hundred billion suns.
Through gravity, they all are pieced
together into one.

Around this place, where we now feel
what we are breathing in,
these suns form one tremendous wheel
with one tremendous spin.

And all these suns are shining clear,
enormous and sublime.
They all are real here where we’re
adrift in space and time.

Unmoved by beings such as we
on Earth, our small enclave,
the stars around us now will be
the stars around our graves.

Except for those which have gone through
their hydrogen supply
and end as all things someday do,
for even stars must die.

And some, much bigger than our Sun,
burn brighter still and must
explode one day, when they are done
with making light and dust.

These supernovas, as we call
them, burst stupendously.
Some can outshine the sum of all
stars in the galaxy.

With their magnetic fields unfurled,
their yields annihilate
or sterilize abundant worlds
that life might populate.

Yet all we breathe and eat and drink
comes from these massive bombs.
We’re supernova-dust that thinks
about where it came from.

And since the stars have made the clay
that led to our birth,
we’re children of the Milky Way,
as are the Sun and Earth.

But supernovas are quite rare.
Three times per century
does one of them explode somewhere
within our galaxy.

Yet many supernovas do
each second detonate
in all the galaxies whereto
we now shall escalate!

A million times much further out
than all the Milky Way,
more galaxies are shining proud
around us here today.

These galaxies, each huge and wide,
much like the one we’re in,
outnumber all the stars inside
our home and origin.

Around where we consider this,
whichever way we face,
drift billions of these galaxies
right now, right here, in space.

We realize with utter awe
and know beyond all doubt:
Beyond this world are trillions more
that we could learn about.

And almost all of them must be
absurdly far away
in ultimate reality
beyond the Milky Way.

From here where our bodies stay,
imagination climbs
through further outer Milky Ways
adrift in space and time.

And through the emptiness between
in almost all of space,
where not a single star is seen
in almost every place.

And meditation does allow
our minds to feel it all.
To feel the Universe that now
surrounds us as a whole.

Despite all suns that intersperse
this dark continuum,
most places in this Universe
are total vacuum.

And therefore, atoms are quite rare.
Yet trillions of them have
condensed into the flesh we wear
that draws this very breath.

Two thirds of atoms in us are
still hydrogen which sprang
into existence not in stars
but back in the Big Bang.

For all the time since time began,
as entropy made space,
each travelled an enormous span
to meet here face to face.

Through vacuum and solar flame,
they found their way somehow.
And we as that which they became,
thus came to meet here now.

Through all we breathe and drink and eat,
they travel and endow
with nutrients the living meat
in which we meet here now.

The atoms that we are traverse
all space and time, which means
we’re children of the Universe
and we have always been.

The atoms in us met before
and they will meet again,
compelled by universal law
out in the there and then.

One endless cosmic maelstrom,
age-old and ever new,
is where we all are coming from
and where we’re going to.

The knowledge we are made of dust
compels us to admit
the Universe is in us just
as we are within it.

From here we may arise to see
and claim as our own
the secrets of reality
just waiting to be known.

And so we know the infinite
is absolutely real.
It’s here, it’s now, it’s intimate,
this vastness that we feel.

Whatever else is true for us,
we’ll always know this rhyme.
We’ll always know we’re made of dust
adrift in space and time.

2 thoughts on “Adrift in Space and Time

  1. Listening to you performing this made me want to learn it by heart, which is one of the strongest compliments I can give. Thank you for making this. ^_^

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