Farewell, Arthur C. Clarke. 1917-2008
Just a few weeks ago, my favourite science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke, passed away. As a tribute to the hours and hours of reading enjoyment and plethora of wonders he's projected into my mind, I was compelled to commemorate the event.
Clarke, by most known for his book: 2001: A Space Odyssey, was a visionary and a pragmatic. At the core of his books were always genuinely unique ideas, but wrapped around these ideas were stories that were neither longer nor shorter than the idea warranted. Always deeply personal and with a protagonist filled with the same sense of wonder that you or I had been, had we been there.
While not necessarily hard reads, his books were filled with complex themes. What seeped from his books into my younger self were themes of life and death and universal purpose and meaning. Clarkes' books gave me an understanding of our universe: that in all it's complexity and sheer scale, it's so full of wonder that one can derive meaning and purpose from simply that. I remember this, whenever I'm overwhelmed by harsh facts of life: peace of mind is no farther away than outside. A gander at the stars and I know: this is all bigger than me or you. We're all but tiny flecks of dust and vermin on the cosmic scale.
For letting me in the know about this powerful strength from the stars I owe Clarke and his books my sincerest respect, because unlike all other institutions that claim the ability to heal souls, spirits, thetans and what-have-you, Clarkes' way is universally free and available to anyone who needs it.
Clarke was not a religious man, so when he said:
I sometimes think that the universe is a machine designed for the perpetual astonishment of astronomers.
… I dare interpret it to mean simply that: lift your gaze from the ground to the dark of space above the clouds, you'll see that there's plenty of purpose in that vast ocean of nothingness. Rest in peace, Arthur, and thanks.