Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thoughts at a Pub on the Pale Blue Dot

I'm drinking Guinness right now at The Celtic Mist, my favorite pub here in Illinois' capital city. Blogging via iPod as the music of the Pixies fills the room and makes me think of Fight Club. I have big plans for tonight that involve laundry, frozen pizza, and watching The Walking Dead. It's shaping up to be a good day.

Meteorites hit Earth, the Pope quits, and more and more gay people are getting married legally. If I were a Christian I might suspect these were signs of the end of the world.

The Carl Sagan Google Doodle Campaign picked up a few hundred supporters on Facebook this past week. Still small potatoes, but I'm happy for even the little victories.

The thought crossed my mind today, seemingly out of nowhere: I can be happy while being sad, and there's a big difference between being sad and being in a state of desperation. Sadness is part of the human experience. I am grateful for my sadness, because it reminds me that I am alive, and I have so much to live for. Genuine sadness is the result of experiencing loss of something one wants, or desire for something one doesn't have, and perhaps never had. The sadness in my life is almost exclusively the former. I've lost loved ones. I hardly ever see my children. But my sadness is a product of my happiness. If I had never loved and been loved back, if I had never known how wonderful it is to be a father to such exceptional children, I wouldn't have this sadness. The intensity of my sadness testifies to the immensity of my joy.

Sagan said, "for small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love." I prefer to experience a life of love with the sadness that follows necessarily than to never love. I will risk those moments when I descend into the valleys for a chance to reach the mountain tops. I'll take the lows with the highs, even though I know that, as the cliche goes, "what goes up must come down," also applies to one's emotions.

I have decided to keep the Decembeard. At least for now. I like it. And there is an amazing lady who's been on my mind a lot lately who happens to dig beards, and I'm always looking to rack up points with her. I suppose I shouldn't refer to it as a "Decembeard" any more, given that it's mid-February now.

I was listening to an interview with Natalie Batalha of NASA this morning on NPR; consequently, I will leave you with this (via


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