John Green, on discovering the moon:
I suppose I’d known moonlight existed, but somehow I had made it to adulthood without ever having a personal experience of it. And there was the world, lit by something that cannot shine light but still finds a way to share light.
I look at the world, and the world is awful in so many ways. Yes, there is much beauty and much to enjoy and celebrate – but damn, so much unnecessary suffering. I see this suffering, and I want to make it end. It’s all so stupid, and we could fix the suffering just by not being stupid.
That’s what I think.
I reduce the world’s suffering to “people being stupid”, and it’s an easy step to “I’m not stupid; why don’t they listen to me?” I really am not stupid; whatever my legion of issues are, stupidity is not among them. So I think that if I write the right words and if people read my words, they’ll stop being stupid. Hey nonny presto! The world could be such a better place – a less stupid place with far less suffering.
That’s what I think.
The trouble is: However well I write, I can never write anything that will end stupidity and suffering. Those are baked-in to the human condition for the foreseeable future. I can write words that have impact of some kind, but my words will never be the source of light the human race needs to see its way to the better, non-stupid, non-suffering world I continue to believe is possible.
I think about John Green “discovering” the moon in the way that he did, and I realize I love the moon more than the sun. The sun is a good provider, but it will also kill. The moon provides no warmth and often too little light, but it is so beautiful in so many ways. It can provide enough light to lead you home. It reminds me how close, and how far, the transcendent is.
I like that. because, in a universe with no gods and only the laws of physics to guide us, feeling something special inside that I can’t explain, and that I do not have to explain or understand, connects me to the universe in a way false beliefs never could. I’m one life, here in this place for a short time, and it feels amazing.
That’s what the moon does for me.
That’s all I want my writing to be: sharing whatever light falls on me, however best I can.
I just want to be read. That’s all I need.