…and I feel fine

Jupiter aurora. The bright spot at far left is...

Jupiter aurora. The bright spot at far left is the end of field line to Io; spots at bottom lead to Ganymede and Europa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By now you are all no doubt aware that the world actually did end yesterday.

Who’d have guessed it? The whole thing just sounded so tacky, like a poorly printed leaflet stuck into your screen door by a Jehovah’s Witness. For all the hype, I didn’t know a single person who believed anything would happen. And yet here we are, worldless.

At first it was pretty. I was busy with some late-evening snow shovelling when it happened. Taking a break to look at the night sky to the east, I was admiring a star so bright it had to be a planet, when suddenly it changed. Even as I looked, it glowed brighter. When it started to expand, I left my shovel and ran into the house to see if I could find out anything online. I learned about the meteor that had socked Jupiter right in the red spot–the planet’s stormy eye, which has been contracting and whirling faster for years.

That’s when it started getting weird. As people all over the world tuned in to the phenomenon in the sky, the internet just sort of woke up. As if it had been developing consciousness all along, but just now the single-mindedness of every search engine gave it the focus to come into its own. When it noticed us, humankind must have appeared to be some kind of infection. It unleashed its virtual immune system which, as you know, booted us. Information surged through our screens in blasts, and its bright white light washed us out like so many germs.

By that time it was bright as day outside. Small meteors pinged on the roof like hail, the wind of ionic particles grew, and…

And, well, here we are. If you’d told me about this before, it would have scared the crap out of me. But it’s kind of neat. Like most people, I’ve always had only the fuzziest ideas about the concept of an afterlife. And this definitely is not what I would have expected.

It’s going to take some time to adapt. It is good to be alive, if I can still say that, even if it’s going to take some time to learn to trust the way it flickers on and off. You can’t just take it for granted anymore. Life without world, life without biology–I can’t wrap my head around these concepts yet, let alone the reality.

These lines, man–it seems so crazy now, but we had no way of knowing those were there, right? And I don’t even know what to do with all these appendages.

I think what I like best is the way we can see right through each other. It used to be such a struggle to understand people, but without the defensive barrier of our own skin it’s much easier, much more intuitive. Simpler to do the right thing, now that it would hurt so much to do otherwise.

Who’d have thought that when the world was ready to let us go, we would wake up in a bed of compassion?

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One response to “…and I feel fine

  1. Pingback: December 22, 2012 | A year of Mt. Tamalpais

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