But there's the sun out there, all unimaginable size and light, explosion and heat, gases and gouts of fire, with deep pools of dark moving across its surface. And here we are, at the center of it all, looking at the moon and the sun, at the two of them on their appointed rounds.
Sometimes it all gets a bit confusing from where we stand. A bit frightening. A bit fascinating. A bit...blue smoke and mirrors, confusion and magic and cosmic prestidigitation.
Sometimes the pale moon turns into a dragon and eats the sun. Sometimes the dark is there when it's not supposed to be, and the birds start singing themselves to sleep because the twilight's telling them to do it. And we're in the center of all things, telling each other about the dragon, and how to defeat it with prayer or promises. And we sing songs about it. We prepare legends, we wonder, and we explore. We write about it, and right ourselves with what we create, after the corona flares and subsides, and the dragon moves away, defeated, and the gouts of gas that would incinerate us passionlessly if we got too close, well, they come back and everything's just fine again.
All the myths and legends, all the beauty and terror of seeing the pale moon triumph...it all depends upon us being at the center of it all.
All the knowledge, though; all the true, beautiful, depressing and uplifting knowledge about the pale moon and the dangerous sun? That all depends on us knowing where we really are.
It's a bit prickly and depressing, that knowledge. It's a bit like something precious and cold - or hot, I'm not sure which - that we have to hold, even though it hurts us. It's like a gift that we didn't expect, that's two sizes too big, a mirror that makes us too small, a picture we're not able to look at, or look away from, a little statuette of disquieting power, a book with uncomfortable poetry on leaves of paper that cut our fingers. It's something that's all angles and edges and brilliance and immediacy.
We love all that, we humans. We hate it with a passion.
(Center of the universe? She can't mean that, can she? Of course I don't. And of course I do. We are at the center, you know - just check that GPS in your head or your heart and it's telling you the universe is centered right on you, so don't quote science at me. Science is right, but I'm true. And that's perfect rubbish, of course. I'm a modern girl, I am, and I know where I live in this universe.)
And here I am, at the end of it. Don't mind me. I'm in a bit of a mood tonight. Most of you probably have already enjoyed this, but I thought I'd invite you to watch the dragon and the pale moon, if you hadn't.