Feed Your Cosmic Heart And Read This Elegy For NASA

21 Jan

Once I told a roomful of friends I’d marry Carl Sagan were he still alive. Maybe the verb wasn’t “marry” but this should be illustrative of my total butterflies and hand drawn notebook hearts for science and the people who ensure its continuing forward trajectory. Especially those who are/were constantly living out the idea that we are conscious marvels made of wild, scintillating  star stuff.

I’m enamored with this poem from the newest issue of DIAGRAM, “NASA Elegy” by Michael Canavan, and its marvelous messy real feelings about scientific progress and the optimism it can usher into a society, here specifically the U.S. during the Space Race. These lines emanate the most radiant ache:
.
                                                                         That time I heard
John Glenn speak his voice broke orbit, he let
……….the dream back into his voice. The flags on either side
of him blurred and stilled, as if trying to come true.
……….The Russians sent that dog up.
The corpse of that dog fell to earth in flames.
.
This poem so gorgeously details what happens to societies, us, when the spirit of progress and discovery is shuffled to the margins of our collective consciousness and individual cosmic hearts.  Head over to DIAGRAM, read the rest, mourn a sky emptied of shuttles.
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