But We Had Music
Syndicated from themarginalian.org, Apr 13, 2024


How, knowing that even the universe is dying, do we bear our lives?

Most readily, through friendship, through connection, through co-creating the world we want to live in for the brief time we have together on this lonely, perfect planet.

The seventh annual Universe in Verse — a many-hearted labor of love, celebrating the wonder of reality through science and poetry — occasioned a joyous collaboration with Australian musician and writer Nick Cave and Brazilian artist and filmmaker Daniel Bruson on an animated poem reckoning with this central question of being alive.


by Maria Popova

Right this minute
across time zones and opinions
people are
making plans
making meals
making promises and poems


at the center of our galaxy
a black hole with the mass of
four billion suns
screams its open-mouth kiss
      of oblivion.

Someday it will swallow
Euclid’s postulates and the Goldberg Variations,
swallow calculus and Leaves of Grass.

I know this.

And still
when the constellation of starlings
flickers across the evening sky,
it is       enough

to stand here
for an irrevocable minute
      agape with wonder.

It is      eternity.

Syndicated from The Marginalian. Maria Popova is a cultural curator and curious mind at large, who also writes for Wired UK, The Atlantic and Design Observer, and is the founder and editor in chief of The Marginalian (which offers a free weekly newsletter).