Today marks precisely three years since my very first blog post. As with so many things in life, starting this blog was a spur of the moment thing. I thought it might be a good idea to share pictures on a semi-regular basis and to give a short account of the story behind them. Today I couldn’t be happier that I took that step. Through this blog, not only have I essentially kept a timeline of the past three years’ events, but I have come to know so many interesting and talented people.
On a personal note, it is always striking to me how the act of merely looking at a picture from the past stirs up so many different memories, many of which are not even related to the picture itself. I’m always left wondering how many other memories must have been lost with the passage of time, which is why every now and then I am compelled to go back through the records and unearth some forgotten picture from the depths and post it here.
A lot has happened since. For starters, many of you whom I used to meet on a daily basis are now quite far away. Sadly, others have departed and cannot be reached, reminding us of the brief and fleeting nature of our existence. Time relentlessly marches on and new memories keep forming. Novel patterns emerge, and some old ones are repeated. A few routines persist; others have long since been done away with.
As I pause for a few minutes and look around, I realize how much occurs every day. I find it overwhelming to think that my own memories are but a tiny speck in an ocean of human experiences. Think of all the millions who have come and gone. How thick a book would we need to collect all of humankind’s memories? And what purpose would that serve anyway? Here we are, each and every one of us, leading our lives as if everything centres around us, allowing ourselves to be engulfed by the tiny problems that occupy our minds, forgetting to appreciate the beautiful impermanence of it all.
In the face of this temporariness, I think you’ll understand why I chose a picture of the centre of our Galaxy for this particular post. I believe that it is more universal than any other picture could be. It portrays the centre of our shared home – our Galaxy – an island in the blackness of space, hosting our tiny planet amongst millions of others. Each and every speck of light you see in this picture – all those suns shining like distant beacons – have witnessed a story stretching further back in time than any of us could wrap our heads around. And they will far outlive us and our progeny. What are we to make of all our stories in the face of this vastness? So unimportant do they seem on the largest of scales, and yet they feel so significant to us. This, to me, is as beautiful as it gets.