Margins Magazine Issue 1 - Page 23

ACROSS THE SOLAR SYSTEM I’m the token artist on a voyage to the edge of the solar system, an arbitrary trip for the sake of saying mankind ‘has done it’. My job is to say, ‘Wow, look at that!’ on behalf of the rest of God’s creatures. I represent humanity’s response of awe. Since the news came, I’ve shut myself away from the rest of the crew on the pretence of focusing on the cosmic experience. What can I contribute at this point? None of us is going home. Utter chance selected me to represent the species. But once nominated, I couldn’t resist the journey into the unknown. I’ve no special qualifications. I’ve always considered my output mediocre. And though the works I’ve produced on the voyage are to the best of my ability, they don’t come close to conveying the majesty I’ve witnessed. Surrounded by the heavens, the glory they display stirs something in me I can’t make sense of, let alone express. Think on where I am, let it enter your dreams, and when you sleep you’ll come as close as you can to sharing my vision. I didn’t know how to react to our stranding. The reason was explained to me but I’m no scientist. I’m left to make peace with an unexpected fate. Have I anything left to hope for? My panicked thoughts crystallised fast: who wouldn’t want to leave the Earth behind them? It’s a poxy rock really, and this is my chance to put as much space between it and myself as possible, for ever. There might be nothing out here, but it’s better than the everything back there. I couldn’t be happier to be so distant. The world is a place where even everyday consciousness can be a test of endurance. The welcoming void soothes, and I feel quiet and still. My muscles sit as if never used. With my planet in my past, the darkness holds me safe at last. I’m finding my end where no one has been and where no one will be; affording an isolation that anyone living would die for, if they knew the comfort beyond. As I drift away, you might expect me to tell tales of dread and despair, but that would be misleading. Instead I’ve chosen to feel nothing, though there are some whom my soul lets go of with a sigh. I lovingly abandon you for this final hope: that soon I’ll be resting in the bosom of the universe. ACROSS THE SOLAR SYSTEM PETER D MARSAY 23