Monday, May 20, 2013


In the beginning, there was nothing. It was not dark, for there was no such thing as dark. It was not cold, for there was no such thing as cold. It was simply nothing, a void in which the world would fill. Then, a bang. Energy condensed, blowing protons and electrons into the cosmos. They funneled together, bound by gravity’s pull, huddling against the emptiness surrounding. And, they began to glow. Their nuclei pressed together forming heavier atoms and more complex compounds. They spit out the carbon, iron, and silicon without regard as they tumbled further in upon themselves.

The cloud of forgotten ash condensed, bundling together against the void. The round surface was a tempest of fire, boiling, moiling with the heat of its progenitor stars. It exhaled, shedding atmosphere in a fury. Until, day by day, it grew weary and calm. A thick, caustic atmosphere settled as the inky depths of oceans swirled. A strange phenomenon occurred amongst the hydrothermal vents that eeked out sulfur compounds and heat, sugars spontaneously linked. Phosphates knitted them together, and with a conformational twist, they begat more.

More sugars, different sugars, and new molecules swam in phospholipid bubbles, reacting eagerly to replicate themselves. It chewed through sulfur compounds hungrily, searching for more and more. Then, it found the sun. The glimmering rays of light beckoned and fed. And the creatures gave to the sky clean air.

The ocean began to bubble with life, spilling the contents onto the shores. Creeping, crawling, twirling, rooting things colonized the space, and with a leap, they caught in the air. They inhaled and exhaled new gases, transforming the atmosphere and altering the climate. As the planet wobbled around the sun, occasionally bombarded by fellow explorers in the vast nothingness, and the life upon in changed.

A creature without much hair and a big brain crawled from Africa across the continents. They brought fire, stone, bronze, iron, steel, and silicon. They transformed the world to fit ever more and more of them inside. They fought bitterly and often acted without thinking, laying waste to land without second thought. However, they would learn and do their best to undo their mistakes in the aftermath.

We are part of a history of voids, stars, sulfur-eating bacteria, and aerobes. Whether we are alone in the universe matters not, for either way, we are privileged to enjoy some moment amongst the impossibilities that arose from nigh nothing. It is enough. 

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