Andromeda’s Dream: Thoughts Like Starlight
And all eyes else dead coals!
— Shakespeare’s, The Winter’s Tale
To see the stars of our nearest galaxy is to perceive the present-past. Like a dream, the starlight originated from a burning moment over two million years ago. When we look at the stars, think about them, stand in awe, we are recognizing a History, while the present light leaving Andromeda will reach this galaxy in what will, or will not be, perceived by anyone. A dead star goes on shining across the vastnesses of the Universe, until that last glimmer passes some galaxy, never to shine again, while the dirge-light carries on, in a stretched out farewell, on and on, constantly going out, if anybody else in the Universe happens to be looking. From our sense of Time, stars have and will always be there, ever-present, even to the city-dweller who can only imagine the sight of the Milky Way through the curdled sky of New York. Thoughts, like stars, seem as if they’ve always been there. From the protean memories and cognitive framework of the human mind, constellations of ideas appear, as if the city suddenly went dark and New York was finally crowned with genuine stars.
History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
— James Joyce
A good song sounds like it was channeled from the latent Song that shines through everything, a single-star-frequency in a cluster of beautiful Chaos, beyond XM. The nature of memory makes it natural to remember childhood as if it were yesterday and yesterday, a lifetime ago. When the ineffable flow of thoughts commence — if there ever is a beginning — those thoughts are as familiar as the current breath, a fluttering heartbeat, the fingers dancing on the keyboard, you, right now, reading. A present-History reveals itself as surely as the stars at Dusk, never one by one, but through a silent melody of light giving way to dark, the threshold of night…until the Universe stares back, NOW, from eons before. History is in the double-helix of each and every person, just as History sparkles through starlight. At the known limits of velocity, light can’t even keep up without falling behind the expanse of the Universe. History is all-pervasive, like an echo in a nightmare cave of the multi-verse, the Song on repeat, but never on the same frequency, since it has to keep up with endlessness.
Even the largest telescope has to have an eyepiece no bigger than the human eye.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
Nobody knows the precise number of stars in the Milky Way, forget about Andromeda. The billions of neurons in the human brain ebb and flow in scientific estimations, just like the stars, 86 billion.…100 billion…more than a lot… We see the dream of Andromeda when we perceive her stars, dimly, or through the space-gathering glory of a telescope. Through that lens, nothing can feel so distant and absolutely new, at once, vertiginous in the irreconcilable sense of space as Space, while the hand grips the telescope to keep the stargazer from falling upwards, into that sparkling oblivion of times long gone, deeper into the past. Thoughts move across the micro-verse of our minds, in a space so small, smallness no longer matters. As mind-bending as the relative infinitude of the Universe can be, such is the beautiful absurdity of the countless clusters of neurons in a brain, a whole lot in a little. In about four, maybe five billion years — certainly more than a lot — the Andromeda Galaxy will collide with our Milky Way, merging to form a supermassive elliptical galaxy, like a cosmic clock, spinning brightly, signifying all times at once. If anything possesses patience, it’s the Universe and if such a collision is indicative of anything, it’s the grinding Wheel of Time, yet another History to come.