Etam Weekend top / ASOS skirt & shoes / thrifted belt / Alphabet Bags tote

(Photos by Angie)

or, an atheist's manifesto

Someone once said to me, "If there is no god and life is meaningless, then why don't you just go kill yourself?"

I want to share this picture with you today. Take some time, and really let it sink it -- it's a truly moving experience.

The first time I saw it, I was humbled. I felt indescribably small, and to be honest, more than a little bit like my life was utterly pointless. (Did you know that there are over a hundred billion galaxies in the universe?) In the grand scheme of this incomprehensibly massive cosmos, our lives mean absolutely nothing. All of our actions, all our emotions, every single one of our most life-affirming experiences -- all forgotten and all for nothing once we're gone.

But that thought doesn't scare me...and why should it? What's up with humanity's preoccupation to assign meaning to every little thing? If our lives don't have any sort of inherent purpose, what's the harm in simply letting that be? It doesn't change the fact that our existence is beautiful and miraculous and utterly mind-blowing.

And you know what's most inspiring? Regardless of how small we may feel, we are the universe, and the universe is us. We are stardust come to life. Our bodies are literally formed by particles of the very same stars we see at night. We are a configuration of starstuff, and when we die, those particles dissipate back into the universe, to be reformulated into another organism in the future. One way or another, we have always been, and will always be, a part of this universe.

In the face of all of this, isn't it amazing that we're alive? What are the chances that the Earth was formed with the conditions to sustain life? Think of all events since the transition to multicellularity that had to occur, just as it did, for you to be sitting here reading my blog post. Of all the billions upon billions of stars and star particles in this universe, what are the chances that a particular few assembled in just the right way, resulting in you? If any of that happened even a fraction of a bit differently, you might not be alive.

Now take a moment to listen to 'On the Edge of a Cliff' by The Streets...

For billions of years since the outset of time
Every single one of your ancestors has survived
Every single person on your mum and dad's side
Successfully looked after and passed on to you life.
What are the chances of that like?

Despite how small our existence is, we can't take it for granted. It is our only life as this particular composition of stardust, and if it is ultimately meaningless, then this adventure is merely limited by the confines of our imagination. Go forth and conquer.