From Omar's notebook.
I've been listening to this auto-tuned Carl Sagan song a lot the past few days.
It gives me chills and fills me with hope & inspiration every time I hear this chorus:
A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way
These words are from his documentary series, Cosmos, where he's talking about space travel, visiting other worlds, and what the "sunrise" would look like from other planets. This is all very fun to think about, but I've also found this phrase to be surprisingly helpful in getting me to where I want to be, so I've added it to my list of life principles.
I tell myself a still more glorious dawn awaits when I feel unhappy & stuck.
A lot of my other tools help me figure out how to get motivated to do whatever it is I need to. But (1) what if I'm already doing all that, and still don't feel motivated or worse (2) if I finished the thing and still don't feel fulfilled?
A still more glorious dawn awaits helps me think about how, wherever things are right now, there is so much to look forward to. Things may suck or feel stagnant at the moment but there is joy, and beauty, and fulfillment out there, waiting for you to find it. Things can be wonderful as they were in past moments, but even better! Can you imagine that?
There is a lot of meaning for me in this sentence I'd like to unpack.
The word "still" makes me feel like it is referencing some other glorious moment. This is what makes me think of past memories when I felt happy & fulfilled and that's incredibly powerful for me. It makes what I seek feel very real and achievable.
I do indeed have memories of times when I felt great. And I know what made me happy in those moments. So I can imagine similar things happening again. And I can work towards seeking them.
The phrase takes it a step further though and says, remember how awesome those things were? There is more, way more out there! It tells me that my best days are not all behind me. It makes me think bigger and really look forward to what it is I have yet to discover & learn.
And what if I'm already in a moment where I'm feeling pretty good? Well, there is a still more glorious dawn! This may sound like a strategy for never being satisfied but this puts me in a constant state of hope & optimism, which is when I am at my happiest.
I love these two words so much.
"Glorious" sounds so expansive. It doesn't just feel like this is going to be something wonderful for me personally, but something profound and fantastic for a whole community of people. It's hard to imagine myself as the only one looking up at this glorious new dawn. In fact I feel so small picturing myself there, in a way that makes me feel part of something bigger. I'm here to share this breathtaking experience with anyone who showed up & is looking at this same horizon. There is room for everyone.
"Dawn" makes me think that this is not just a fleeting moment. That this experience in itself is potentially a path to usher in even more glorious moments. This is really important for me because I have a lot of anxiety around pursuing things that disappear and leave me wanting, like I'm "back to where I started". I try to focus on developing new hobbies, rituals & practices that stay with me, or creating art. All those things helps me connect with people and engage in new communities that can regularly be a part of my life.
This is the word that makes me want to get up and do the thing right now.
It feels very active. This glorious dawn out there isn't just going to come to you. You have to go find it. This gives me a sense of agency.
I also read a little bit of urgency in this word. I generally hate to keep people waiting. How long will these glorious dawns just wait around for me? More importantly, if it really is waiting, and there's nothing stopping me from pursing it, what am I doing right now? I should get up and work towards having the experiences I know I will really enjoy.
I write these posts mostly for myself, but I'd love to hear if this helps you in any way, or if you have similar themes & techniques you'd like to share!