My life feels just like the pictures of Paris on my wall; a pristine, untouched view of a city from the sky; the perfect instagram filter; a ray of sunlight breaking through a corner of the frame taking everything the tiniest bit out of focus so you’d have to spend just a little bit of extra time trying to soak in all the fine detail.
Meanwhile the real Paris waits for me, 8135 miles away; waiting to be discovered, to create new memories, to have adventures and to fall in love! I can’t wait to walk its cobbled streets, sit at a café, read a book, learn to speak the language like a native and know every unknown bookshop, museum and alley that you wouldn’t find on the tourist brochures.
I know real Paris isn’t going to be as picture perfect and I’m romanticizing the whole thing but in my defense all I have for now is a picture on a wall, a view from the sky, a whole city of chaos preserved in a single moment of stillness as if time itself had stopped for me. Paris isn’t even a place; It’s a time in space, it’s freedom, it’s living life on my own terms and.. I have no way of knowing what happens outside that frame any more than I can predict my own future; the sounds, the smells, the heaviness of its atmosphere or the feeling of its air in my lungs, the millions of stories that run through its lanes every day imprinting deeper and deeper into the history of their city. I’d just have to wait till I get there to find out.
The Earth is a changed planet. Technology evolved us, invaded our lives and then it enslaved us.
We developed the simple barter system into much more complex and nuanced systems of acquiring things. We traveled further and further away from our homes until we discovered other cultures that we didn’t understand, and we called them barbarians so that we could try to tame each other.
Then we discovered technology, a new kind of fire that we could not control. It began with a wheel, steam engine and a light bulb that gave way to sky scrapers and rocket ships, the internet. Science continues to fuel our ongoing conversation with the Universe and little by little she is revealing her most closely guarded secrets to us, but what have we learned so far?
We continue to find ways that cause a divide by a language or a name or a weaker sex or a darker skin color. These are issues that should feel out of place in this century. Genetics will tell you that race is not a real thing. It derives from our places of origin, not as a construct of the Universe. Anatomy will tell us that men and women are different but we are not different enough to qualify as a different species. So how is it that women are sometimes excluded from the definition of ‘humans’ to whom basic human rights are owed? We are all made the same, with skin and bones and blood and veins. How is it that the only thing that matters isn’t kindness and love and brotherhood?
We can hold a world of knowledge in the palm of our hand, a world that we can barely understand; only this time we are the barbarians that need to be tamed by it.
If I could imagine a different world, I would re-imagine this one, with inhabitants that have a greater capacity to understand one another in a way that reflects our own understanding of the Universe. A species that can travel to the moon and back can surely figure out how to treat each other with common decency.
Our minds continuously refuse to be contained by both its intelligence and stupidity.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Interplanet Janet.”
Isn’t writing the most amazing thing? It is as close as humans will ever get to playing god. We can bow our heads, close our eyes and reimagine the entire universe. We can travel back in time or go way into the future. We can build up and destroy worlds or relive and rewrite our entire lives. We are adventurers, rebels, mythical creatures and the stuff of legends just changing the course of history. Perhaps the vastness of the universe was created to remind us of our own insignificance, but when we write we are creating something out of nothing, and in that moment we become limitless.