We know that the atoms composing our our bodies and our brains might be traced again to explicit stars that died way back in some faraway nook of the cosmos. We know what is going to occur to our personal atoms once we ourselves die. Still, one thing in us quivers with incomprehension on the notion that each single one in all our capacities — love and arithmetic, the bomb and the Benedictus — is the churn of discarded stardust. And but it’s exactly this proven fact that renders us miraculous — creatures of matter, able to seeing magnificence, able to making which means. This is our inheritance. This is the brilliant star of resurrection lighting up our beautiful aliveness.
U.S Poet Laureate Ada Limón channels this cosmic future of ours in her splendid poem “Dead Stars,” present in her assortment The Carrying (public library) and browse right here by the poet herself throughout her altogether great lecture at Portland’s Literary Arts, to which I’ve added the requisite benediction of Bach.
by Ada Limón
Out right here, there’s a bowing even the timber are doing.
Winter’s icy hand in the back of all of us.
Black bark, slick yellow leaves, a form of stillness that feels
so mute it’s virtually in one other yr.
I’m a fire of spiders as of late: a nest of making an attempt.
We level out the celebrities that make Orion as we take out
the trash, the rolling containers a tune of suburban thunder.
It’s virtually romantic as we modify the waxy blue
recycling bin till you say, Man, we should always actually be taught
some new constellations.
And it’s true. We maintain forgetting about Antlia, Centaurus,
Draco, Lacerta, Hydra, Lyra, Lynx.
But largely we’re forgetting we’re lifeless stars too, my mouth is full
of mud and I want to reclaim the rising —
to lean within the highlight of streetlight with you, towards
what’s bigger inside us, towards how we had been born.
Look, we’re not unspectacular issues.
We’ve come this far, survived this a lot. What
would occur if we determined to survive extra? To love more durable?
What if we stood up with our synapses and flesh and mentioned, No.
No, to the rising tides.
Stood for the numerous mute mouths of the ocean, of the land?
What would occur if we used our our bodies to discount
for the protection of others, for earth,
if we declared a clear night time, if we stopped being terrified,
if we launched our calls for into the sky, made ourselves so huge
individuals might level to us with the arrows they make of their minds,
rolling their trash bins out, in any case of that is over?
Complement with the unusual astronomer-poet Rebecca Elson’s “Antidotes to Fear of Death” and “Let There Always Be Light (Searching for Dark Matter),” then revisit the poetic physicist Brian Greene’s Rilke-lensed reflection on how our creaturely limitations give life which means.