The farthest man made object in space, Voyager 1,
is over 20 billion km away from Earth.
On board is a phonograph record, brilliant gold,
containing sounds and images of what life is like on earth,
A message to whoever is able to listen, a literal shot in the dark.
On it is an inscription that is perhaps the most beautiful sentence
I have ever read
TO THE MAKERS OF MUSIC
a time capsule, a gift, from us
To anywhere and everywhere
A hundred years from now or a thousand
Our belief that no matter what time
Or world you belong to, melody and harmony and rhythm, can bring us together, can communicate.
On the cover
Are figures, explaining how to operate this record
Hieroglyphics from what by then
Would be ancient history
Messages in binary, the 1s and 0s
Our position in the universe marked by our distances
from gigantic pulsars, the star map to our home,
the creators of this message
There's beauty in this marriage of math and art
Code and music
As a way to communicate with the universe.
Some of the images on the record are
the most beautifully simple ones,
Of us, humans, drinking and eating, laughing,
of animals, nature, food and architecture.
Then there are images of our scientific observations,
mathematical calculations, our discoveries,
Like a child showing off
Look, look what I can do!
Black and white and in colour,
Pictures, proof that we, indeed have lived and achieved.
The music, classical, our very best from Bach and Mozart
to Blind Willie Johnson's Dark was the Night.
But all of this can only matter, can come to fruition
if someone exists to receive it, and is evolved enough
to comprehend what it means.
But that's the thing, everybody knows,
That's there's a slim chance of this record ever being heard,
and it's much more possible that the Voyager will simply end up as floating debris in the cosmos, but it doesn't matter!
We just want someone to know that there was a species of bipedal, intelligent animals on this blue planet,
no different than finding graffiti in alleys that read I WAS HERE.
WE WERE HERE, WE EXISTED.
And it's all about that hope, the hope that someone will see us,
our pictures, listen to our languages, our greetings, our music, and remember us, even after we're long gone.
Or perhaps we will one day be interstellar space faring people as well, following the path of the Voyager, doing what we do best,
I JUST REALLY LIKE SPACE