Sunday, September 20, 2015

A View of the Earth

I realize I'm behind on the Europe posts, but I'm having technical difficulties . . . Something's wrong with my phone, and I can't transfer photos to my laptop. Unless I can figure it out, I'll have to email 300+ photos to myself in batches of five, maybe. It stinks, and I'm working on it.

Until then, I have to introduce you to this gem:

A View of the Earth

It's the story of Michael J. Massimino, an engineer and former NASA astronaut, and his work on repairing the Hubble Space Telescope.

Now, I love The Moth, but of all the stories I've listened to, I'd say this one's my favorite. Massimino has the typical New York accent and can-do attitude that makes his story fun to listen to, but also, he has a unique perspective on loneliness that most people will never experience. He talks about being 350 miles away from Earth and feeling completely detached and intensely lonely: "I felt that I was by myself, and everything that I knew and loved and that made me feel comfortable was far away."

But then, after he completed his mission and came back to Earth, he said this:

I realized that at the time when I felt so lonely—that I felt detached from everyone else [. . .]—that really I never was alone. That my family and my friends and the people I worked with—the people that I loved and that cared about me—they were with me every step of the way.

I just really liked that. It was a reminder to me that we are never really alone. There's always someone else -- perhaps hundreds of miles away -- thinking of us or praying for us or trying to solve our problems. We may not realize it, but that doesn't make it any less true.

Thing I'm thankful for: Those NPR moments when I'm in the car, and I feel so alive and connected to humanity because of a story.


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