Call in the Astronomers

I hate a whole week’s worth of list staring at me.  Seven entrées marching across the menu of my life.  A calendar scattered with to-dos and appointments bookended by trips to and from the  bus stop.

A thousand grains of sand – insignificant events – piled up to smother me.

I cannot compartmentalize, tackling one manageable item at a time.  Trivial, minute tasks threaten to overwhelm me simply because they come all at once.  Like a student with an IEP, I need my work broken into more manageable chunks and fed to me one at a time so I don’t choke.  But I don’t have a case manager.  I am my case manager and I can’t ignore the subsequent steps I know are coming for the sake of the present one or my sanity.  Just like I can’t fall for the set-my-clock-fast-so-I-won’t-be-late trick.  I always subtract the minutes and fight against that clock trying to fit squeeze every second for what it’s worth.  I see right through the subterfuge.

And then I remember the words of a visiting priest this past Sunday.  He reminded us that there are millions more stars in the sky than all the grains of sand in the world.  If even the mass amounts of sand are dwarfed by the all the stars in the sky, how small are we?  How infinitesimal our blip on the radar of the universe.  How trivial our concerns and worries and to-dos that seems so life-altering when we encounter them.

This is not unlike the advice my therapist gave me a year or more ago, which still proves relevant: The 10-10-10 rule.

Will this matter in ten minutes?

Will this matter in ten months?

Will this matter in ten years?

Yes, in ten minutes, I’ll probably still be worrying and obsessing over it, but in ten months or ten years?  Doubtful.

Our visiting priest also quoted a South African astronomer, who when a world war was imminent and battle lines were being drawn, told policymakers and strategists, do not call politicians or soldiers to solve the world’s problems, call in the astronomers.  How much grander is the universe than our little corner of it?  How petty even multinational concerns in the grand scheme of all creation?

I have a newfound love for astronomers.  I think we should employ them in all things personal and global.  What a different world it would be if we gazed heavenward from time to time instead of always being bogged down by the drudgery of the corporeal.  After all, we are all made from dust and to dust we shall return.  And we all know dust is way outnumbered by stars.



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