All my life that I can remember I have always walked with my head down; peering down at the ground before me, as if afraid that I would lose my path. The weight of modern life sits on my shoulders and I am constantly weighed down by chores not done; or duty not preformed, to perfection. It has always been safer to avoid eye contact and keep to yourself; as who knows what psychos may be around, or god forbid by looking up you may invite the wrath of the local bully. The safe path was the one where you went about your business unobserved, and unobserving of everything around you. So I walked away my life looking down; and not bothering to even venture to explore, what may lie on the horizon.
There are many others like me I realize now, who find themselves in the same quandary. They go through life as if it is a narrow band that restricts us; and keep their heads down, and walk the known paths. They are born, go to school, get married have a family and then pass away into the pages of history, like the billions before them. Unknown, unsung and unrealized I walked with them and am afraid, of life itself. I restricted myself to only knowing what came before me; and not bothering to explore, what lay beyond my comfort zone. It is only a matter of time before this life will end and I will pass away, and none will be the wiser for it. My close friends may say he lived a great and upright life; but they know so little because I reveal so little of my emotions, or my aspirations, even to them. I walk alone with my head bowed down; and see the tunnel that my life has entered, and all is well, and I am safe in my ignorance.
I read today that a meteor shower from the Perseus constellation will pass through our atmosphere on Sunday and Monday. It will pass unnoticed by many of us; like so many other stellar phenomena, that have come and gone in our lifetimes. It stirred up some hidden longing in me; that maybe there is more to life than just this downward gaze, I have held on to, for so long. I plan to find an unlit field and lie in it on my back on this summer night, and gaze up to the heavens. I want to see nature paint its streaks of light across the dark horizon, and gather again the wonder that I have lost. Maybe the horizons will open up new vistas; that I have not dared to look at, for so long. Where is my galaxy, this Milky Way that everyone writes about, where are the galaxy clusters that are the largest structures that scientists praise. I want to look again at the miracle of this creation; and with eyes raised to the skies, unravel the mysteries that brought me here. Who am I and why am I here and why now; are questions that I have never bothered to ask, and much less sought answers to.
So now that I have decided to leave my comfort zone; and gaze upwards, maybe I won’t slouch, and drag my feet anymore. Maybe a spring will rise in my step, and an uplifting of my soul will naturally follow. I look back at evolution and realize why Homos Erectus was such a big deal, for our survival. It allowed us to look at the horizon, and see things that others could only jump up to see, occasionally. As we looked we also started to plan the next hunt, survival tactics or travel options. When you can see far; you can also travel farther, and chances for survival improve immensely. It helped our brains to grow connecting neural pathways; that sprang anew, till now we have billions of connections formed and ready to fire at the first opportunity. The mind is now supreme and the simple act of looking up; has led us here, so why do we spend our life in continuing to look down; as if our hidden treasure was below, and not above.
Now I try to look up and admire this strange new world, which I have found. The skies are brilliant at sunrise and sunset, and often in between also. The cities are lovelier as they rise in their glass towers; to heights that would knock your Fedora off, if you looked up. The tall crane above the unfinished building has a flag flying high; and it is a testament to human ingenuity, that we can build upwards with a practiced ease, and only our imagination limits us, as to what we can create. Admire the burning horizon, look up to the ever changing skies, enjoy the meteorites streaking by in the middle of the night; as it is all here only for us. I gaze at the tall tower and the sky above; and see the brilliance of the sun cascade off it in a lights of color, all unique to this moment in time. The wonder is reborn, and my mind is alive to possibilities again. Too long have I been a slave to my fears, and my phobias, and unresolved frustrations, and it has led me to this living hell. This path is no longer my tunnel of life; and I break free from it, and step out to the horizon. I will find new vistas to look at, and new opportunities to conquer. I will reignite that passion and the fire that is mine by my birthright; and will cry out like the infant I was, when the life-force was still strong in me and did not give what it promised. All I have to do is look up and remember that we were unchained by our ancestors; and sloth and acceptance, is not in our genes. We are Homos Erectus and live in complex social structures; and are the only ones who question reality, and develop science, technology, philosophy, art, mythology, literature and religion. I promise myself to once again join the tribe of these tall ones; and look up, and seek that which was never found. In looking up all I am losing are my inhibitions; and new discoveries are just around the corner, and I know that such beauty can only make me one with the creator. We laugh at his wonders and we experience them together, as he needs to also be alive through me, and thus we are both fulfilled.