Have you ever had images and feelings inside of you for such a long time that you could never put into words or even truly understand? Somehow it helps to have artwork that seems in tune with my feelings and to put it into something that moves so it feels alive. That's why I've begun making slideshows.
I found this song that I really like just a few days ago. I've been listening to it a lot since then and specifically while I was browsing book titles on amazon. I found this book about a space expedition and somehow the two themes clicked. The song seems to say in notes what I've been feeling and I realized maybe what my love of space has always been about. You may recall that I once said I distinctly remember at the age of twelve looking up at the stars and aching for something, but I didn't know what. I'm beginning to understand it.
C.S. Lewis put it this way: "We are very shy nowadays of even mentioning heaven. We are afraid of the jeer of 'pie in the sky'. You may think there is another reason for our silence about heaven--namely, that we do not really desire it. I find myself wondering if we have ever desired anything else. You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a single thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words. Again, you have stood before a landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turn to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw--but at the first word a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for ineffable suggestion by which you are transported." (from The Problem of Pain)
If heaven is made for us and us for it, I have a strong hope that mine will contain this thing that I have been yearning for, a glimmer of which is in this song. I wonder if our mansions are limited to buildings. Maybe that idea is more than just a place to house us; maybe it is a place made just for us that will fit us completely. Some say God is all we need, and that's true in part, but I believe He created us to need things outside of Himself as well.
If we only understood how complex we all are. It pains me to hear people call heaven a fairytale. The resistance to it comes from a shallow understanding of humanity. It must be that instinct to say that we aren't in fact thinking of heaven. We're too smart or too logical or whatever for that sort of nonsense. But we can't hope to find that thing we've yearned for for so long without heaven being part of that picture. Hell is not just the absence of God, but the absence of everything He created for us to long for from the hour of our birth. Being without it must truly be everlasting torment. Not only would the dream of obtaining it be forever lost, but we would lose everything wonderful we have here on earth as well.
Let me share part of my yearnings with you. I've always dreamed of space. I wanted to be an astronaut at one time--didn't everyone?--and I was pretty crushed when it was decided that the space shuttles would retire. Back in 2003 I had a very fleeting ambition to follow in the Columbia astronauts' footsteps and go to space myself. I knew that wasn't likely so I let it go. Then in 2008 when I got to go to the Kennedy Space Center that dream was vigorously renewed and I set it down as a to-do for eternity, when earthly limitations are just too great. Anyway, they had two imax movies that were simply amazing! One of them featured a girl in the future standing before a great valley on the moon and in that valley rested a city.
Somehow that dream has persisted in my heart for three years. I tried once to put it into art, but without drawing and painting skills, there really is no way to express it well. Maybe someday that will be me standing up there.
I wonder if mankind will ever make a moon colony or advance farther into space. I have a feeling that those dreams of reserved for eternity and we're only meant to taste a small sample of it now.
So buckle your seatbelts: Part 3 is going to have space in it!! =D