Astronaut

Here’s an english version of my previous post because I didn’t feel very satisfied about it. Writing in Bahasa Melayu feels awkward and clunky for me…


I stared out the window. Darkness. Silence. Emptiness. Nothing but the stars to light up the backdrop of the void. All my crew-mates were busy doing experiments or research, it was my free time. I sighed while thinking about how lucky I was to be able to experience life above the sky. Countless generations have always looked up to the stars with wonder, dreaming of what it is like to be there. Well, I’m living that dream.

I looked down at the planet below. It was completely dark, save for a few bright light from large cities that dotted the Eurasian continent. Not long now, the Sun would rise above the Mediterranean. Ah, the day-night cycle, a regular mundane phenomenon for us all but for me, it is the most beautiful thing on the planet. The sun rays that illuminate the valleys and hills, the sky that changes from black to yellow and blue, the light that gives warmth to the chilling landscape, the clouds that cast shadows across the backdrop as they dance along the sky.

I thought for a moment about all the people living down there. Every individual scuttling around their tiny homes that look like toys from this height. Tiny. Everything, it seemed to me, didn’t matter. Every war, fight, love, happiness; it all doesn’t matter. We don’t leave any mark to the universe. That’s what we are, tiny. From my cramped module, I saw no mark. No wars, no violence, no hatred. Just silence. Silence stretching for miles and miles across this living planet. If you think about it, we are unbelievably insignificant to the universe. Each lifetime lasting only a blink in the cosmic eye of the 13 billion year-old universe. We. Make. No. Difference.

And yet we are special. Our home is the only known planet to harbour life (as far as we know at least). We are living, thinking, intelligent lifeforms. We have the chance; the potential to change the world around us because every man, woman and child here has something ingrained into our feeble minds. A natural desire to explore, learn, venture, teach, create, help, discover. We can at least try to leave a beautiful stain on this tiny, pale blue dot.

The space station continued its orbit around Earth. The dazzling Sun that I just saw rise above the Mediterranean began to complete its perpetual journey from east to west as it sank behind the opposite face of the planet.

Silence.

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