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Voyagers: A Love Story

Brain Pickings features, this week, a thoughtful and moving short film called Voyagers, by filmmaker Penny Lane, made of remixed public domain footage. Brain Pickings calls it “a living testament to the creative capacity of remix culture — using the story of the legendary interstellar journey and the Golden Record to tell a bigger, beautiful story about love and the gift of chance,” the tiny chance, says Lane “that in some distant time and place we might make contact.

As we head into a new year like all the new years before and those yet to come – one of promise and uncertainty – Voyagers  is a Love Note of powerful proportions, a beautiful and poignant reminder of the ultimate adventure that love is – love of one another, love of discovery, the love of the journey of life.   In the film, Lane imagines Sagan saying, ” Nobody can know what will happen. Why not try? Why not reach for something amazing?’ There is no way to forestall what can’t be fathomed, no way to guess what hurts we’re trying to protect ourselves from. We have to know in order to love, we have to risk everything, we have to open ourselves up to contact — even with the possibility of disaster.”

When we saw one of our daughters off at the airport this morning, on her way to visit friends out of state for a few days, to stay in strange places and climb snowy mountains, it was with every ounce of my being that I refrained from saying “Be careful,”  and said, instead, “Have fun!”  When my other daughter and her brother headed out into the woods this afternoon, for  some exploring, my words were “Have a good time!” instead of “Watch out for bad drivers and dangerous people.”   I think of all the remarkable people I know, of the half dozen who passed away this year alone, from age and illness and accidents,  some young, some old, some expecting death, some not, and I’m reminded that we are all Voyagers.

Sometimes, like the starbound Voyagers carrying Sagan’s Golden Record,  we may travel on far beyond our expected expiration dates.  Other times, we crash and burn seemingly far too early.  But we have no way of knowing how long or how short our journey will be, or how far we’ll get in the time we’re allotted.  So why not just put it all out there, and journey with an open heart, ready for anything, open to everything?

Wherever the journey takes us, in 2012 and beyond, and for however long, may we have the collective wisdom to travel light and without expectation, the courage to journey with open hearts and minds, the ready hands of friendship, and an abundance of love for our fellow travelers!


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