We Are Lucky

The Trappist System Vacation Poster [Image Courtesy: NASA/JPL]

They found seven planets just like us,
And again, a train of thought left my head,
as it made it way around the world of stars.
The sign on the train says : We are Lucky.
Imagine I am holding a sword in my hand.
Your regular sword, an arm’s length,
perfect poise, thin as a thought, can slice hair.
You can imagine that, yes?
Now let us make you work some more.
Imagine a thin pipe: about an inch in diameter.
The length however is tricky: 5.3 light hours.
No, I am not talking time scales.
It is the distance light walks in 5.3 hours.
That’s how far Pluto is from sun.
Imagine a LOT of football fields, it it helps.
Now for some acrobatics.
Balance that thin cylinder on the sharp edge,
of the sword that I was carrying.
Doesn’t seem possible, does it?
It is not. It is heroically impossible.
And yet, we are exactly at the right distance from,
the sun to sustain liquid water.
We are Lucky, I say to myself looking at the Night Sky.
Hobbes said that the Surest sign that intelligent life,
exists in the universe is that it has not try to contact us.
I believe him.
Given overwhelming knowledge, of how remarkably lucky-
-we are, we make it a point to trod on our luck.
I mean, they decided to come down of the trees and walk,
for heaven’s sake! That are astronomical odds.
I mean, they could have decided to fly, or god forbid swim:
Imagine how my voice would have sound underwater.
They could have bloody well stayed put. It made sense.
But they came down and walked.
There are billions of stars in the galaxy, and only a few thousand
lightbulbs, Terry Pratchett said. And that too made by apes.
You realize where this is going, right?
We are lucky.
We are so very lucky.
And I pull my gaze down from what I imagine are 7 homes for my
grandchildren (if I eventually get the time),
back to the world we have.
For a moment I am angry, for a moment aghast, for a moment disbelieving,
and then I am just sad.
The odds of a meteorite hurtling towards earth at this point of time,
that will cause death of all thought as we know it, are finite.
The odds of an alien troop armed with horrible puns and god awful metaphor,
dropping out of hyperspace to slaughter us with bad poetry are finite.
The odds of Gods coming to life and battle it out over the icy northern plains,
in a mind-numbing, devastating, all-ending Ragnarok are finite.
The odds of ice caps melting, flooding of the seas and global warming and the following ice age of a billion years are finite.
The odds of us, killing all of us, before any of this happens, are finite.
And pay attention to this however,
The odds of another spring coming are finite too.
The odds of another love that will sweep you off your feet are finite too.
The odds of you coming across an old photograph and recollecting good times that have been are finite too.
The odds of another rain, another song, another reason to live and laugh and love are finite too.
We are lucky, goddamnit.
Have been and will be.
We just need to make the best out of the luck.

Written for Writings on the Wall (Nashville). More of my writing is here.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.