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When the Sun Sets in the South

*Came across this while clearing out notes on my phone. Wrote it while on a flight from New York to Shanghai in 2014.

I’m airborne. Six-miles above the northern ice cap staring out. There isn’t a single cloud. Six-miles high and I could pick up a snowball. It looks within an arm’s reach. The only features are cracks. Hundred mile long splinters fracturing the ice. It’s frightening looking down. I couldn’t imagine looking up.

Visualize yourself at the beach. Now look down. Do you see the ridges and canyons in the sand? The summits and valleys? The ice caps differs little out my icy window. Except that all is white. Flawlessly white. Occupied only by an emptiness that we are never to experience.

The sun is setting in the south. I’ve never seen this before. It will soon set and not rise until spring.

I find this reassuring. Knowing there are tens 10,000,000’s of square miles that only ever experience a predictable schedule of shadows. As conquering a species as we are, there exists a wild that we have no control over.

I’ve watched the sun set before. If you had asked me just hours ago of its’ path, I’d have told you “it rises in the east and sets in the west”.

Soon I’ll be landing. Laws will again be in effect. The facts I’ve long been taught will be irrefutably valid. Everything will work as it always has. However I will remind myself that somewhere out there, the sun is setting in the south.

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