There are many tremendous, breathtaking, and truly amazing pieces of art on Earth. The Grand Canyon. The Northern Lights. Mount Everest.
One piece of work, however, is not of Earth. It’s the greatest souvenir to only a few humans and merely a painting in the sky to most people who have ever lived. For millennia, the moon has garnered the attention of the masses.
Isn’t it odd, then, that the same moon we gaze at, some more often than others, is exactly that moon from millennia ago? Save for craters here and there that have collided with the moon’s surface, it is largely unchanged and has remained as such for hundreds of thousands of years. Maybe “odd” is the wrong word. Perhaps “extraordinary.” It has just the right amount of “dashing” and “unbelievable” with a lovely pinch of “holy fucking shit.”
The moon is extraordinary because it has lasted many times the length of human existence. Cleopatra saw it. Moses saw it. Philosophers like Aristotle and astronomers like Copernicus have studied it. Hell, even the cavemen, whom we consistently mock, saw it before we did. The greatest figures of human history and all its eras have gazed at this rock in the sky that appears on most days of every month since we started recording time in such a manner. You, yes you, are looking at the same moon that Jesus looked at. Congratulations.
The really extraordinary idea, the meat and potatoes of it all, is not that the same moon that left Siddhartha starstruck is the same moon that we look up to when the sky is clear and the sun’s reflection is powerful and true but rather that long after we are die, when the cure for cancer is hopefully an over-the-counter medicine and people who live on Earth consist almost entirely of retired citizens, the moon, barring some enormous disaster that would undeniably affect the course of human of life as long as the moon stays in the Earth’s orbit, will persist. Your children’s children’s children will look at it, with you long forgotten, and feel the same awe you feel, provided you look at it through a certain lens.
Isn’t that kind of cool?