II

cosmic; adjective, [koz-mik]

  1. of or relating to the cosmoscosmic laws.
  2. characteristic of the cosmos or its phenomena: cosmic events.
  3. immeasurably extended in time and space; vast.
  4. forming a part of the material universe, especially outside of the earth.

Aside from reviewing The Iliad and indulging myself in poetry, I’ve been reading about space. Most often my outlook on space and the universe is hopeful, because there’s nothing more comforting than filling an inhospitable vacuum with names, stories, and dreams. But sometimes, sometimes when the moon is an odd shade of yellow, when it’s late and the sink is clogged, again, when everything’s bone-weary and exhausted, I find myself drawn towards Lovecraft’s cosmicism—cosmic horror. It’s the opposite of Carl Sagan ideology, in that cosmic horror defines the universe as a barren landscape with nothing to offer. It is neither cruel nor kind. It is indifferent. In turn, humans are made insignificant in the cosmos—just a bunch of restless atoms trying to grasp permanence. In turn, humanity and Earth are easy prey for ancient beings and eldritch abominations from the depths of space.

It’s a bleak and dreary outlook, and I’d disregard it completely if I hadn’t discovered a way to twist cosmicism’s philosophical boundaries: if there’s nothing out there, then there must be something down here. Millions and billions of breathing organisms on this planet, all of it astonishing and unlikely. Cosmic horror points toward space and says, “There is nothing for you in that immense void. There are horrors slumbering across the stars, waiting to stir. No one is coming to help.”

Right, then. Look at the earth. Look at this life. This is what you have, in all if its glory and tragedy and transitory nature. You can let it die or you can take care of it, alien horrors be damned. You can wish to love space but there’s so much down here, so many living things and phenomena and seven billion people—how much love is that? There will always be something worth fighting for.