The writer relates everything to metaphor. The nerd talks about movies. The lost young adult tries to piece everything together and make sense of the world anyway he/she can.
See the big problem with Prometheus is that the visual scope of the movie does not match the scale of the story and the actual scale of the events that occur within the film is so drastically small compared to the grandiose ideas presented in the motifs/metaphors/and themes that reach well beyond the story. The movie is beautifully shot, most of the ideas are intricate and engaging, and some of the questions asked are truly puzzling/terrifying and yet the actual story of the movie is small. People land a spaceship on a planet believed to house our Creators. They go inside a hollow mountain. Bad things happen. Only one person survives. Oh… and there’s a scene that makes me glad I’ll never have to give birth.
Obviously this is NOT a review of Prometheus, but rather using that one minor issue with the movie as a jumping off point about life. Metaphor, movie, lost young man. See? I was going some place with this all along.
We all have these lofty dreams, ideas, plans, or just “feelings.” They are what keep us going when monotony sets in or sadness/anger threaten to derail us completely. In essence, we all cling to these astonishingly beautiful images of where we’d like to be to help us remember to keep moving. Sometimes, it’s the image of sitting in the back of a dark theater and watching a crowd be entertained by something with your name on it. Other times, it’s being with a person you’ll never be with. Those are just the simplest versions… all of us day dream. We all want to take to the stars or the depths of the seas… or maybe it’s just an image of a blank canvas and a full set of colored pencils at our disposal. My point is that we have this gigantic scope of an imagination that powers our Will and spirits and gives our Drive and ambitions strength.
And all too often, we focus on a moment. A single instant or bump in the long road we walk as individuals… or we focus on a crack in the pavement that runs stretches as far behind us as we can possibly see and disappears into our future ahead of us but is barely a centimeter in width. It’s human nature. It’s what’s easy. And sometimes we need to stop. On darkest day, in brightest night, we sometimes need to look to the skies and think…
Sometimes all it really takes is to look up and think of just how unimaginably large 13.8 billion light years truly is. Atoms and subatomic particles from one stretch of the universe to the other make up who we are. Life on this planet shares particles and even entire elements with the core of our Sun. There’s this massive interconnective nature between everything that exists that just needs to be sought out and marveled at. And every so often, we all forget that. We look ahead and see a road we walk alone. We look behind and see only our footsteps following us. We focus on an uneven patch of the road – on heartbreak or excitement or relief or happiness and think it’ll last forever. We miss the scope and true scale of the world we inhabit… and we forget that we are small.
AND EVEN STILL… there’s an intrinsic and paradoxical connective nature between the infinitely large and the unimaginably small. Even when I’m sitting here and trying to recenter my own life and feelings in among 13.8 billion light years of “stuff,” there was a time when all of that “stuff” was compressed to a single point in a vast expanse of nothing. 13.8 billion light years of “stuff,” the building blocks of every person, planet, star, solarsystem, interstellar dustcloud, galaxy, black hole, etc compressed together in the smallest point one can express through math, science, or imagination. It existed in a space of everything and nothing with all of Time coiled up within said point. A true paradox of existence where infinity = null. And then…
And everything came to be. The scale and scope of the infinite and the minute exist as one and as neither and if your mind’s not slightly blown by that idea… well… my hat’s off to you. What is so fascinating about this metaphor is that from an individual standpoint, our lives are the single biggest thing we will ever experience… but from an exterior angle, we’re the tiniest of creatures. We’re creatures who cannot truly comprehend the paradoxical nature (on certain levels of thinking) of the universe and our very existence and yet we always seek to make sense of it all.
So now that I’ve gotten all esoteric and almost preachy, where does this leave us? Well, I’m honestly not sure. I think the closest conclusion I can reach at the moment is that rather than analyze or question or imagine, we need a single moment – however brief – to simply accept. It’s not in our nature to understand a paradox or an infinite… but we can still accept that it’s there. Look to Faith, a character trait that has passed through evolution upon evolution. It means we, however long or momentarily, accept something we cannot prove or touch. That approach to who we are and how our lives play out – rather than being overly controlling or fatalistic – might just be the breather we all need from time to time… just allowing ourselves to accept all scopes and scales of experiences, feelings, thoughts, and dreams.
Poetics = Waxed. I’ve been sappy and tried to be all esoteric and present lofty ideas through metaphor and science… probably failed miserably at that but oh well… shit happens, as they say. Hope this at least gave you pause to think, whether you agree or not.
See ya, Space Cowboy.