There are times, sometimes multiple times in a day where I just sit there and gaze into the sky. It strikes me that I tend to enjoy it more at night, when the sky is dark and resembles more of what we see pictures of the cosmos to be like. It also strikes me that I do this most of all, when I need an escape. When I need to escape life for the moment. When I need to escape my everyday existence, when I need to escape people, and when I need to escape politics. Hell, I do it to escape Earth itself. Sometimes painting and reading books isn't enough. Sometimes feeling creative and riding my bike isn't enough. As a matter of fact, my night rides on my bike frequently turn into exhibitions of me riding aimlessly staring up at the sky.
Staring at a distant place that seems foreign but all too familiar at once. Space has always been intriguing to me. A dark expanse with so much potential, the birth place of so much creation, change, and destruction. We have yet to learn everything there is to learn about it. We have yet to explore its far reaches and this alone is a reason why we can never be bored of it. We can never tame it because we have yet to completely understand it. Comets and asteroids move through it daily. Light travels through it seemlessly and yet, it still can not seem to reach a barrier. As far as most astrophysicists know, it's still expanding, growing toward and unknown, creating an unknown amount of energy and matter and still revealing more to us.
Numerous stars and galaxies fill her belly, hiding secret upon secret. An enumerous amount of chemical reactions happening every millisecond, giving birth to elements and even more chemical and physical reactions. So much uncertainty, and yet for me, in this life, at times it seems to be the most certain thing. No man, no god, not anything has ever given me more of a sense of belonging than staring at the stars. Simply trying to explain it, cheapens the importance and meaning it has in my life. Trying to rationlize it all, takes away from the complexity to which its woven its way into my very being and energy.
Could all of this be a true indentity or connection to some higher cosmic relationship? Or is it a symptom of simply being me? What I mean by that is, is it a symptom of being a black man living in a country that will do everything in it's power to use him and others like him for their creativity and labor while also doing whatever it can to make him feel like a visitor or intruder. Are the cosmos my home in a way that earth simply can't be? Space pays no respect of persons, no attention to race, nor gender in a way that America does. The secrets and mysteries of the cosmos reveal or elude me regardless of the way I appear, unlike the rules that govern this country which say that my body means less and I'm entitled to nothing because of the abundance of melanin in my skin.
In the cosmos, my body may be in no more danger from floating to close to the sun than it can be from being black and walking in a predominantly white neighborhood and being confronted by a police officer who is afraid of the beauty that is my black skin or the unbreakable frame that is my black body. Finding nourishment in the cosmos via pure energy from gama rays and light that has poured in from galaxies far over, may never be as difficult as being black or brown and being forced to live in a community where the closest food may be three bus rides away or a foodshelf that closes its doors by the time I get off of work. The cosmos feels like home because intelligent life out in the expanse of space, may view my achievements and intelligence as the standard for those that look like me rather than an exception for those that look like me.
In the cosmos my overall health may only be determind by atmospheric pressures that I may be exposed to, chemcial and physical reactions that happen on a sub atomic level and not the structural racism that I and others like me have to face here in America. The cosmos are familiar because it can be welcoming toward black folks in a way that America never has been, even after four hundred years of singing, dancing, fighting for this country, and helping to build this country financially and physically. I keep me eyes in the sky because it takes a place as foreign to you and I as space, for me to feel at home.