Thursday, June 7, 2012

On Venus Crossing the Sun

There must be a reason why it only happens once in a hundred years.

As dot moves across another bigger dot in the blue vastness of a post-summer skyline over this sweltering tropical archipelago, millions of stargazers around the world watched transfixed, even spellbound, savoring every passing moment of a phenomenon that will never happen again in this lifetime. By the time the passing of Venus over the sun is repeated it would be already a hundred and five years from now, year 2117 to be exact, which means every single human being young and old, that breathes today, and in fact including those still in the formless stages of conception will not be able to live long enough to see the moment happen again.

If only the planet Venus could speak, maybe she would have profound stories to tell us not only about her journey. I do feel that she would have a whole lot more to tell us about ourselves.

She might tell us that the first time ever that she strayed across the sun’s path, there was no earth to speak of, at least not the earth as we know it today, but just another dark, barren and lifeless piece of rock, one among the countless millions of such objects floating perpetually in space. Maybe she didn’t even notice earth at all.

Several hundred years later, when it was time to cross the sun again, Venus looked back to the direction of planet earth and saw man-apes scurrying to their caves in terror at the sight of a dot emerging on the face of the flaring sun fearful that a monster would emerge from somewhere in the vastness to devour them.

Still several hundred years later, Venus was amazed at how far we’ve come. The man-apes no longer cower in fear, running for cover, but instead they waited and watched her arrival with the same perpetual curiosity that actually propelled them from a primal state of oblivion to civilization. They have learned to question, to plan, to improvise. Where before they watched with their naked eye, now they had instruments with which to catch a closer glimpse of a rare occurrence millions of miles from where they were.

Maybe by now Venus feels differently after every rite of passage. And just like us, she now awaits the event to repeat itself with the same perpetual curiosity that we have. Curious at how much we have excelled in nearly the same manner and extent that we have ruined ourselves.  Curious that so much of us have remained the same, yet desperately we insist on becoming different in trying to create division, to put up barriers and to live in the illusion that the world should only revolve around our own needs. Curious at how much we have loved and how much more we have hated, Curious about all the wars that we have fought, for God, country and ideology. Curious at our imperfections, at our self-inflicted pains and curious even more at our quest for the perfect self.

Maybe, Venus is already exasperated at us, because her every journey across the sun follows the same painstaking pattern in the time clock of eternity – that of happening once and only once every hundred years…  and in fact her journey delivers the same message to us over and over again but for some reason we refuse to comprehend and accept the meaning of that message over the course of several hundred years from Jesus Christ to Adolf Hitler… we refuse to comprehend the message about life in this world being fleeting and transitory… that when this life is finished, the whole pattern is bound to be repeated with or without us waiting and watching for the moment when Venus once again would drift across the sun… the message that our faiths and convictions are pitifully tiny and gravely irrelevant no matter how much we exaggerate their worth because eternity doesn’t give a damn about what we think or how we feel, the message that no matter how desperately we try we could not make a dent in the universal order, let alone to inflict a heartbeat’s delay in the general cycle of birth and death and renewal because we are just humans and our understanding of our wisdom and energies borders on the delusional. Venus is telling us all of these, over and over again, and she has been doing so every hundred years. Someday we shall all be gone but the universal order goes on and on.

To accept that we are miniscule compared to the infinite realm is not to lose our self-worth. On the contrary, it is one significant step towards the discovery of the great secret of making every moment count and leaving an indelible trace in the course of our journey through life, just like the life well lived that will continue to inspire and to give hope long after it ended. The journey that Venus takes every hundred years across the sun speaks not so much of the fact that we are too small, and our life too short. Those things incidentally are facts and we cannot change them. However, the reason why people would like to witness the journey of Venus should not be overlooked or ignored. They do, we all do, because that one moment in time is so rare and unique and it is in the nature of man to value and covet that thing that we couldn’t have. But we must realized that these very attributes of rarity and uniqueness are inherent attributes in every man, the same way we find them in the journey of Venus across the sun. There will not be another sighting of Venus crossing the sun in a hundred years but we don’t have to look too far to realized that the bigger irony is this: there will be no other person quite like you or me forever and ever and until the end of time.

Each person is not quite like any other and for that matter, each one is a bigger miracle than all the journeys across the sun that Venus will ever make.

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