Imagine standing on the gray surface of the moon. You’ve been there so long you can’t remember why you came, or where you came from. You can’t remember that you’ve been anywhere other than here. Maybe your parents came first. Maybe your grandparents. Maybe their grandparents. Regardless, this is all you know, all you’ve ever known, all you ever expect to know. You’ve never thought of anywhere else, or imagined that anywhere else could ever exist.

But you’ve seen the planet. The blue one. Everybody tells you that it’s just some rock, or maybe a dying star, if it’s even there at all. Very likely, it’s just a figment of your imagination, or some strange refraction of light in space. It could be explained away, with scorn, or with facts and science and numbers. It didn’t matter how. It didn’t matter that it was there. It wasn’t you.

Of course, you can’t help but wonder why, in this monochromatic world, in this gray, barren, godless universe, the color of the dying star is the same color as the eyes of your parents.

What is art?

Now imagine you brought paint here, that you have colors and paper and an easel. And in the twilight, you sit down and stare at that dying star, and watch it come to life as the blue goes dark.

Why does it feel so much like love?

You don’t know what you’re recreating. You don’t have a word for it, because you can’t imagine life anywhere but here. You know nothing but this bleak, cold world. But if you had a word for the feeling, it would be something like homesickness.

Whatever it is, it hurts in your chest.

Do you have the image in your mind yet? Is it an image, or more of a feeling?

It’s not a true story, but it’s truer than fact.

It’s why we have art. What else would remind us of the place we’re longing for?


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