The BIG anniversary was last year - the big four-oh - I am guessing they had all the fanfare then, such as it was - this year, today, it's 41 years ago that a human being first stepped onto another world. Did you lift your eyes to the heavens and look for the moon last night, and remember? Are you going to do it tonight?
Do you remember this...?
(They made it better and enhanced it. Last year. For the four-oh, I guess)
Do you remember it? You might want to pop back here and jog your memory again.
How did that particle put it? "The bootprints we left on the moon are lonely for company."
How could we have suffered such a massive collective failure of the imagination and of our sense of wonder that we LET THE MOON GO?
How is it possible that human beings have been looking up into the skies for DECADES, and not aching to go back?
How is it POSSIBLE?....
Back when I got lucky enough to get picked for prof_brotherton's Launchpad workshop, I wandered out into a Laramie street at night and looked up at the Milky Way spilled out across the clear evening sky, and cried. The stars have been part of my dreams for so long, for so long, so faithfully, so wondrously, so vividly, that I feel a kinship to them all - yes, they burn and their fires would annihilate me but we are cousins, the stars and I, made out of the same elements, I am starstuff and starlight holds a little but of my own soul, we are mixed and twined in incredible ways. And all I have to do to feel the pull is to look up into the sky on a clear night and see them there, diamonds in blue velvet heaven.
This is an anniversary that makes me proud, and makes me sad. We did it once. We can do it again. WE HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN. It's all out there, waiting, waiting, waiting. I've come to terms, in my own way , with the fact that I will probably never see any human in space, not the way it should have been done anyway. Not in my lifetime. But I would like to think, to believe, to KNOW deep in my bones, that some day... somebody will go. Somebody will go and touch the stars.
For me. For those like me, many of us, who will have been dust for years.
I leave you with a song (and with two challenges - I dare you not to fill stirred at that soft countdown in the background in the first minute. And I dare you not to feel a hollow space open in the pit of your stomach, just momentarily, when the words "The End" appear blazoned across the image of the astronaut on an EVA mission from the shuttle - because it really is "the end", the shuttles are reaching, or have reached, the end of their useful lives and with them goes a concerted and consistent human presence in if not interstellar space then at least low Earth orbit...)
And with a picture that tears at my heart every time I see it. My own world, seen from above, seen from elsewhere, seen from not-here, from a place to stand that is not and never has been the soil of Earth.
Remember, forty one years ago today a human being walked on the moon.
What is not possible, after that?