Sunday, March 27, 2011
Singing Together in the Boundless Night (Rusty Schweickart; Dave Matthews; Robert Randolph)
Rusty Schweickart came back from the Apollo 9 mission in 1969 with a profoundly altered sense of relationship with our planet. As he later wrote about circling Earth every 90 minutes (click here for more):
"And the contrast between that bright blue and white Christmas tree ornament and the black sky, that infinite universe, really comes through, and the size of it, the significance of it. It is so small and so fragile and such a precious little spot in the universe that you can block it out with your thumb. And you realize that on that small spot, that little blue and white thing, is everything that means anything to you - all love, tears, joy, games, all of it on that little spot out there that you can cover with your thumb. And you realize from that perspective that you've changed, that there's something new there, that the relationship is no longer what it was."
So what do we do on our tiny island in the midst of the endless sea?
We sing and we dance, like Tolkien's elves under the stars, like the inhabitants of Le Guin's Earthsea every New Year. Together, weaving from our individual solitudes a chorus to defy the night, bonding ourselves to ourselves with inimitable rhythms.
Like this (with thanks to the Dave Matthews Band, and to Robert Randolph & The Family Band respectively):