A few nights ago I laid in bed and realized what a mere speck – just a drop in the river of time – that human existence is, compared to the sun and moon and stars, compared to the earth, which holds Galileo’s body and Christ’s and Sappho’s – it is the body of us all. How utterly insignificant I am – of course, I had known this as a basic fact of life, a knowledge carried like one’s own name, but buried so deep beneath the bullshit of everyday life that I had not fully realized it until then, and it was swift and crushing and overwhelming, like drowning. But it was also purifying – it cleansed me of the dust of vapidity, routine, and superficiality, and I felt like I was present in my own life again.
I wheeled with the infinite celestial precision of the starts, the universe collapsed downwards onto my being, a stack of matryoshka dolls, each entombing the last. I held the flowery patterns of light and shadow in my hand and felt I was acting out my own death as some sort of morbid rehearsal. In this sempiternal night, light threw a certain kind of harshness, separating each object from the next by blade of the sword. My dreams, too, were subjected to this same practice, and at last, I could see each clearly for what it was. In the morning, I knew I would not find such a clarity. My eyelashes caught rainbows on their ends and blurred them into camera aperture circularity; the field of the kaleidoscope danced with every angle and movement of my head. I feel eternal tonight, the stuff of stars scientists tell us we are. Who knew? Who knew?