We are aliens

We are all aliens, at home. We awake and rub our eyes, brains warming up as we focus for another day on yet more things that sit beyond us, almost within reach but not quite close enough for us to grasp with two hands.

We are aliens in our own world, no different now, really, than when our pre-historic antecessors watched the Sun rise and the Moon set, wondering in fear when they would stop their mysterious motions.

We are aliens in space, in thrall to the seasons while all the time convinced that we control life itself. Birth and death themselves are the new rising Suns and setting Moons. The last things we have to admit we have no domain over. But we are working on it.

I read a headline in the newspaper the other day. I couldn’t sell myself the idea that time would have been well-spent on reading the text that followed. The report was, I imagine, supposed to be some comfort in trying times. We were assured that some massive asteroid would not strike Earth for about one hundred years.

Well, that was a relief – until I considered that my now six-year-old son or maybe his children would face a very different headline one day.

Asteroids, viral pandemics, microwaves, remote controls, algorithms, IPOs, market prices, the past, present and future. Love, hate, fury, greed, and forgiveness. How long is the list of things I will never really understand?

We are all aliens, at home. We plump up a pillow and try to rest. The world spins round and we all stay still.


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