In October 2022 William Shatner published a new book, a memoir entitled Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder. I found much of it fascinating—especially the section describing his experience going to space aboard a capsule commandeered by Jeff Bezos’s company Blue Origin.
But I found his more recent article, published by The Guardian, to be considerably more salient and emotional in his description of how he felt during his experience in space, thought I’d share:
“Last year, at the age of 90, I had a life-changing experience. I went to space, after decades of playing a science-fiction character who was exploring the universe and building connections with many diverse life forms and cultures. I thought I would experience a similar feeling: a feeling of deep connection with the immensity around us, a deep call for endless exploration. A call to indeed boldly go where no one had gone before.
I was absolutely wrong. As I explained in my latest book, what I felt was totally different. I knew that many before me had experienced a greater sense of care while contemplating our planet from above, because they were struck by the apparent fragility of this suspended blue marble. I felt that too. But the strongest feeling, dominating everything else by far, was the deepest grief that I had ever experienced.
While I was looking away from Earth, and turned towards the rest of the universe, I didn’t feel connection; I didn’t feel attraction. What I understood, in the clearest possible way, was that we were living on a tiny oasis of life, surrounded by an immensity of death. I didn’t see infinite possibilities of worlds to explore, of adventures to have, or living creatures to connect with. I saw the deepest darkness I could have ever imagined, contrasting starkly with the welcoming warmth of our nurturing home planet.
This was an immensely powerful awakening for me. It filled me with sadness. I realised that we had spent decades, if not centuries, being obsessed with looking away, with looking outside. I played my part in popularising the idea that space was the final frontier. But I had to get to space to understand that Earth is, and will remain, our only home”
Read Shatner’s entire article at The Guardian here.
And speaking of earth being our home, you might check out my articles Video: Meet Logos Hope, the Bookstore & Cultural Center on a Cruise Ship! and “Rewilding” at the Hoja Nueva center in the Peruvian Amazon, I think you’ll find them both heart-warming and enjoyable!