“I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts…” Moby Dick
Our progenitors sat around their coastal fires and pondered on their origins. The rivers, lakes, seas and oceans within their reach proffered to them an avenue to explore their environs and search for their origins.
From the rugged bark to the mighty sailing vessels, humans ventured onto the waters of this planet to find what was over the horizon. Forbidden seas were a lure for those brave souls to reach beyond their limitations to embrace what new worlds may await.
Of course as history has shown on this planet, contact with new worlds and people groups have not always been in the best interest of these groups. Often, first contact has been virulent-like contagion.
These great sea adventures and discoveries are part of human history on this planet traversing the cosmos. The “everlasting itch for things remote” still burns with fervent passion in the human heart.
Perhaps the romance of adventure is built into the human genome. Of course the aged question of origins is rekindled with each new view of the cosmos.
The cosmos has always intrigued the human mind. What is it like up there and out there among the countless suns with worlds untouched by the human hand?
In the short film by Erik Wernquist, he gives a view of what it may be like to stand on a world in our solar system. Space will be the human race’s next forbidden sea.
We have touched the moon with human feet. Mars is the next target for humans to touch down on a sister world.
One can only hope as we venture into the cosmic realm that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. Encounters with inhabitants of other worlds will be a reality in time if the human epoch does not cease on this earth.
As Carl Sagan so eloquently said,
By the time we are ready to settle even the nearest other planetary systems, we will have changed. The simple passage of so many generations will have changed us; necessity will have changed us. We are… an adaptable species. It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri and the other nearby stars. It will be a species very like us, but with more of our strengths, and fewer of our weaknesses; more confident, farseeing, capable and prudent.
For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness. What new wonders undreamt of in our time, will we have wrought in another generation, and another? How far will our nomadic species have wandered, by the end of the next century, and the next millennium?
Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds through the solar system, and beyond, will be unified, by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by the knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the universe, come from Earth. They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was, how perilous our infancy, how humble our beginnings, how many rivers we had to cross, before we found our way.
In 2015 it would do us well to remember our common human heritage. However, we have a cosmic heritage as well as we all share our living world with all the living worlds seen and unseen in the cosmos.
We are star stuff since our origins lie out there among the stars. Our sojourn on earth is only a prelude to the vast cosmic ocean which awaits our return.
One day a special group of humans will explore the cosmos. These humans will dance among the stars and sing the songs of creation like the ancient morning stars did eons ago.
G. D. Williams © 2015
MOBY DICK or The White Whale
Wanderers: a short film by Erik Wernquist
Wanderers is a vision of humanity’s expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. The locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available.
Without any apparent story, other than what you may fill in by yourself, the idea of the film is primarily to show a glimpse of the fantastic and beautiful nature that surrounds us on our neighboring worlds – and above all, how it might appear to us if we were there.
NGC 1097 Image