Something about a moon.

Opening my eyes to another day of grey. Grey houses. Grey trees. Grey skies. Grey everything here on the Blue Planet. Even with the ease of access, never having to drag around our oxygen tanks, I’m starting to wonder if coming here was the right choice for us. Or, coming back here, I should say, even though our history here seems so far away, as if it’s something I’ve read in a book rather than something I’ve lived through myself. Part of my imagination rather than memory.

My memory is full of our old home, our frosty spectacle of a do-or-die scenario, where we lived to our fullest each day and sat on the ground in the evenings, looking up at the ringed giant, dwarfing the Sun with its massive appearance right in front of our staring, earthling eyes. The sky on Enceladus was always clear as the first true winter’s day used to be on Earth. Back before it all happened. There was ice below us, sky above us. Universe above us.

I remember holding your glove-clad hands in mine, seeing our breathing turn to foggy clouds of condensation each time we exhaled into the air between us. Your deep brown eyes such a foreign color on the white planet, as if you took the two most beautiful pieces of the Earth with you on our mission into the great unknown. I remember how easy it was to carry you around. Put me on your back, you’d say, and in Enceladus’ near-nonexistent gravity, I’d simply toss you on my back and feel you cling on to me, giving us both heat throughout the days as we went exploring, making a home of our new home.

Looking up I can’t see our old new home. Looking up I can’t even see this planet’s moon. I can’t even see the Sun, save for a slightly lighter patch of grey in the East revealing the whereabouts of our gigantic life-giving ball of fire. I wonder what kind of society could have developed under these conditions, under a starless sky. I wonder who would have dared to dream. I wonder who would even have dreamt up the notion of dreaming. Would there have been Explorers? Would there have been gods for mankind under a grey sky?

My hand stroking your hair, black as the nights on Enceladus, only lighted by the specks of starlight I see whenever I look at you sleeping beside me. My eyes’ gaze lowering to your stomach, to that bump forming on you, predicting our future with every new kick. We had the discussion, the pros and cons, of growing up here or back home. Of valuing the open landscapes, the night sky above, or valuing the gravity here, ensuring that his bones will grow strong and durable, his muscles forming like ours.

We never factored in how things might have changed here while we were gone on our own adventure, seeking pastures new as the Earth had nothing left to show us. We didn’t count on escaping the War. We never expected the War to finally, horribly live up to its promises of doom and blood, of broken countries, broken lands. We most certainly never expected the sky to be broken too.

It was visible as soon as we neared the Blue Planet in our shuttle. It looked nothing like when we looked out the window upon leaving, seeing only oceans back then, almost sad to leave the safe fresh water supplies behind. Fresh water is a thing of the past, as least as far as we have searched. We have worked our way through the bottled remnants of water in the supermarkets. The small village we’ve found is starting to break up, leaders turning on each other, families looking with spite across the camp, envying those who have yet to develop a cough, assuming others to be thieves.

It was the most elemental part of all this, how much time we’d spend traveling. How much farther ahead in the Earth’s history we’d be when we got here. I’m holding your naked hand as you wake up, opening your eyes to the same realisation as I had. You look up at me, telling me my eyes are the only glimpses of the galaxy you’ve had since coming here. And I know. I know.

We hid our shuttle as soon as we landed. Its insides only large enough for three people and the most necessary luggage. We knew immediately how valuable a shuttle like ours would be. The opportunity to get away from here. Anyone would be tempted to take it. Anyone would be a fool not to. So we hid it and never spoke of it in the village. Call us selfish, we have lives to live. And we knew we’d want a way out in the future. We just never expected to catch the future so soon.

Holding your hand in my left palm, I write in yours with the digits of my right hand. E N C. You start smiling that smile I’ve known forever, since before our souls found each other in the stream of life. E L A. You wait patiently, allowing my cheesy behavior even on this greyest of days. D U S. I kiss your palm, putting the key to the ignition in it and closing your hand tight.

Let’s drive back home.

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Unconceptual love.

We can only express the things we have a language for. Like the light blue color of the sky at noon when the sun is hard on your face, or a mathematical equation that adheres to our logic. We can only talk about the things we have concepts to help us describe. If we don’t have clear concepts, we find it difficult to express our feelings and experiences. We have a hard time explaining our pains. What does a headache feel like? What does a broken ankle feel like? We mostly explain it as… pain. It “hurts”. It might hurt in the front of the head, near the forehead, behind the eyes, or it has a “stinging pain” when we put our foot down on the ground. But we can’t really come closer to a succesful description of our experience.

Likewise it’s hard to describe love. Love is such a catch-all concept. Which effectively renders it a catch-nothing concept. What does it mean if I say “I love you”? There are a thousand ways for a person to love another person. There’s not some checklist. If there were any clear-cut desiderata, it would probably start like caring for the person. Enjoying the person’s company. But even there it seems to come up empty. I can love a person without knowing if I enjoy their company. And I can love a person without being overly caring towards them. I can love a person in so many different ways that the person shouldn’t even be expected to know what I mean when I say “I love you”. My feelings could be a reaction to any given set of qualities I ascribe to that person. Anything that to me makes that person extraordinary.

I mean, how do I put into the meaning of “love” all the things that make the person so very special to me? How do I exclude those notions that I don’t think of? And is it even important that we have a common understanding for it to be working? Are vague concepts maybe perfectly fitting for human interactions? It seems possible to me that we are such vague beings ourselves, without clear definitions of what “I” means and what “life” means, that it would be weird if all of our concepts were perfectly cut, ready to be applied in every situation. There’s something human about the fuzziness of concepts. There’s something relatable about our lack of clarity. Something romantic about remaining a mystery to one another.

November rain.

My candles are still unlit
sitting in the windowsill
a summer gone by
half a life gone by
reckless smiles painted on the walls
of every room in this room
and your hair is still on my floor
your hand still on my door
pulling it closed behind your tiny frame
hiding a world of heartbreak
obstructed from view
all I see is you

We come in peace, and we leave in pieces.

You tell me you’ve seen it all,
“Haven’t you seen it all?”
you ask me,

“Haven’t you seen it all dissolve?”

“Seen the stars of the night sky
burning up before your eyes,
reveal their flickering lights
as pure disguise?”

“Seen snow melt back in to rain
landing in puddles on the dirt,
understood how every new terrain
transforms into hurt?”

I always thought we were birds
high above the lands,

And you tell me I’m right to dream,
but wrong to wish wings instead of hands

That feathery features is a
fantastic fantasy,
but it’ll tear our skin apart
if we keep fighting our reality

‘Cause even the quickest kiss
might lead to fatality,
and not even broken hearts
escape the laws of mortality

“We come in peace,
and we leave in pieces,
like a fold-up sheet of paper,
cut along the creases.”

Infinity cheeze.

There’s no shape,
no color, no texture,
to describe infinity.
There’s no warmth
or cold. No end and
no beginning. Even
ideas of time running
out run aground in
the face of infinity.
There’s no telling
what infinity is like
and what it is un-
like. There’s no
telling how it came
into existence. Yet
I never doubt,
staring infinity
right into the eyes,
when I catch you
looking back.

Simple love.

“It’s the simplest thing when we think about it,” his eyes in animated conflict, trying their best not to spoil the dream his lips were about to tell, “how easily we can make this work, just like breathing; it’s the most necessary things, like eating, breathing, loving, that don’t even take any effort at all when we do them right. It’s only when we hit upon a bumpy road we even notice that we’re doing these things. It’s not until you get a cold that you think about your breathing. It’s not until your throat is sore that you start questioning your appetite. And love flows easily, as easily as this, only when we forget about tomorrow and just drift with it.”

She buried her head in the depths of his chest, trying both to listen to his heart, to where all that romantic nonsense came from, and to tear it out before it all became too much, would become too real for them to escape this thing they had. She felt his hands playing with the strands of her hair, turning them around as if examining their degree of reality.

“There’s this philosopher,” he said, as he so often said, “who claims that something’s reality is determined by our ability to sense it. That my hands are my hands because I can see them and use them.” He turned his right hand around before his eyes before letting it fall to the center of her back. “But I don’t think he quite appreciated how different that makes the world for each person, depending on what they sense.” His hand moving in circles on her back, her arms starting to grip him in a tight hug. “Because surely I’m sensing a very real thing in this world right now, love, that only you and I can feel. I mean, sure, other people can feel love, but they won’t feel this love, not like we do.”

She tilted her head upwards, catching his gaze down upon her. Her legs moved, her arms moved, her face moved up right in front of his, matching his smile. “Let’s teach your philosopher about love,” she said.

Halfway to a dialogue.

“There’s a place I want to take you. It’s back home, right down by the water. A small pad of green grass and a sandy beach, a long jetty reaching out into the water, giving the most amazing view of the islands around it. There’s a bench for us to sit on, if we don’t just recline in the grass or sit on the edge of the jetty with our feet in the water, watching jellyfish follow the stream beneath us. I rarely swim from there because I’m oddly afraid of jellyfish and they always travel in great numbers there, like a horde of them, sticking together, trying not to get lost in the ocean. I’ve never understood how jellyfish function. I think that’s the reason why I fear them. I often fear what I don’t understand, like most people I’m sure. That’s also why I’m sometimes hesitating with you, because this is all new, and I don’t know where things go. I mean, I am usually pretty good at telling the future, but that’s because it’s all been mapped out for me so far. Now, with us, I have to make decisions I’m not used to. Decisions that matter. Decisions that form lives. And I don’t understand all the implications of those decisions, and I’m afraid of making the wrong ones, just as I’m afraid of picking up a jellyfish that fights back.”