The universe is a strange thing that we will never fully understand. Scientists, they give us telescopes and equations and mathematics to explain it all and we still scratch our heads. The enormity of everything just confounds everyone. we are seven billion souls stuck on a ball of rock and iron hurtling into outer space, not knowing what will happen next. Not totally anyway. However, before we are lost in the enormity of it all, the universe is so interesting when you look at it in one way: as a fertile ground for stories.
Consider how all atoms have gravity. Atoms pull each other. They tug and spin around other atoms and in so doing they make bigger things. These bigger things then pull and tug at each other and make ever bigger things. It becomes an endless cycle of tugging and pulling until eventually some those tiny atoms have transformed into stars. From the tiniest bits of matter, all that pulling can become gigantic balls of fire that burn with unimaginable ferocity. This is a love story of the most basic form. We pull and tug at each other and we form something that is bigger than our lives. If we are lucky, we create something that shines a light into the darkest corners of the world.
There are things called pulsars. Stars that pulse, hence the name. Do you know what they are? A pulsar is actually something called a neutrino star. They spin around very fast, emitting electromagnetic waves. If you look at them in a special telescope, it would look like that they have a heartbeat. They are like the romantics of the world declaring their love to the whole universe.
There are also black holes. Stars that have become so massive that they collapse in their own gravity and they suck up the life around them. Once you are trapped in a black hole you can never escape. They will pull you down, until you are crushed in their misery. You try to avoid them but they are so powerful that you get trapped in them anyway.
If that made you sad then contrast black holes to comets. Comets are these spheres of ice hurtling across the galaxy at unimaginable speeds. They are the free spirits of the galaxy. Then they get stuck in the gravity wells of stars and they end up orbiting them forever. They visit planets once after so many years, lonely and traveling the system until they crash into a something or melt away into nothingness. Then you realize you only see the same comet once or twice your lifetime. They move so fast and they take so long to return and all your left with is this strange beautiful thing that lit up your life once. Like people that you meet only once, but they leave such a mark that they burn bright in your mind such that you can never forget them. When you see them again you are reminded of how much they lit up your life, how for a moment in time, you felt that the world was not so dark anymore. And the strange part is, even after so many years, they are still the same bright thing that never dulls and never fades. Then they go away again, never to return to light up your life. All you have is that incandescent memory that you can never forget.
Think also of the dance of the moon and the earth. Imagine them as two lovers fated to dance around each other, never touching yet never leaving each other’s side. Or if you prefer their story could end in a few possibilities: One, the earth and moon could crash into each other, destroying each other in a fatal embrace; Two, the moon could slip its orbit around the earth and would roam free across the galaxy, never to see the earth again; Or three, they die together as the sun finally expires. Either way, they are tragic lovers, fated to love each other yet never truly be together. They spin around each other in a beautiful yet doomed dance that ends in sadness.
In any case, the universe could never be understood fully. It is our duty as simple human beings to try to understand it. Or if we can’t understand it, try to imagine its beauty as something that we could never fully uncover. All we really know for sure is that there are constants in this universe, like love and gravity, that make our small lives bigger than what it really is.