Often I feel like I’m watching my world from afar--it’s rotating while I’m standing still...
J. McKay / I was probably 11 or so before I learned that you could listen to music on the radio. Not that we drove around in silence but I only remember a few cassettes and AM talk radio accompanying the majority of our drives. Perhaps this explains why I almost never have music playing in the car when I’m driving, I was raised to prefer the sounds of humanity...
...while I like to consider myself politically informed there is something grating about the constant acrimony of popular talk radio shows in my broadcast region. In searching for a new commuter soundtrack, I’ve gained a new appreciation for NPR. Although it’s clear we lean in opposite directions politically, I like the fresh human interest of many of their broadcasts. And even when I as a listener disagree with the speaker, I like that no one raises their voices. Disagreement should never end in deafness.
NPR has an affinity for NASA and really did increase my awareness of the waning space shuttle missions. Space exploration is not and never has been a point of interest for me and I wasn’t particularly morose about the final missions of Atlantis or Endeavor (see I even know there names). However it was interesting to hear personal accounts of people who did hold the space shuttle missions in special sentiment. One interview that I have thought a lot about was with a particular astronaut who said there is a viewing area near the bottom of the space station that was her personal favorite. She said that at the end of this pod is a bubble window that you could go down and sit in and literally watch the world spin.
She was from the Cape Cod area and talked about how, to my surprise, through locating prominent landmarks (i.e. airports, strip malls in addition to physical landforms) she would watch as the place she loved and likely wanted to be would gradually get closer and closer and then inevitably farther and farther away. It struck me as odd that you could be in outer space and still feel close to home and also that this feeling is dynamic and constantly waxing and waning.
Introspectively and figuratively I relate. Often I feel like I’m watching my world from afar--it’s rotating while I’m standing still. On the horizon, I see the place and person I want to be getting closer and closer. Everything that I’m looking for becomes more detailed and clear until for a brief moment I almost feel like I’m there. Which is ironically the moment when it starts moving farther and farther away and everything becomes fuzzy and faint until it disappears behind a world of something else.
Not to say that this is as depressing as it may be interpreted. Sure it’s disappointing that self-actualization isn’t here to stay but it is also kind of exciting to think that it is only a matter of time before it comes back around again.