Space junk is not something most people get anxious about - but I do.
You see, the earth wears a halo of orbiting debris and that concerns me.
Most of it is insignificant: a paint chip flaked off a rocket, a tool carelessly cast adrift, a chunk of a satellite – but this stuff moves incredibly fast: almost nine times the speed of a sniper bullet.
It is up there right now, buzzing above our heads like a swarm of angry hornets - but sooner or later, it will all come down on us.
I don’t worry about the tiny bits. They will burn up in the upper atmosphere and if we are lucky, we will see them as shooting stars streaking across the night sky.
But the big stuff I worry about - the spy satellites.
There is a long chain of them, about a hundred miles up, each bigger and heavier than a Greyhound bus and all of them are slowly sinking into the atmosphere like a row of surfers on a spent wave.
Nobody knows where they will crash.
It is like Karma, everything we shoot up, inevitably comes back to us.
All the mistakes we have made. All the things we should never have done - all orbit our lives like space junk and on every turn, inch a little closer.
The little things we probably do not have to fret about. The white lie, the supermarket gossip, the forgotten thank you, will probably just burn away in the course of living. But the bigger things we need to worry about. Those are the things that will land with a thud.
We may have forgotten the jilted lover but when they appear across the table at our job interview, they will not have forgotten us.
The fat kid we bullied in high school becomes the cop who just pulled us over.
The guy we pushed aside for a promotion becomes our daughter's future father-in-law and we get to discuss with him who will pay for what at the wedding.
As we get older, these things accumulate. They orbit the periphery of our lives, slowly gaining mass until even the little things get big enough to punch through and do real damage.
As a kid, we never thought that sliding into second base could come with a cost but now we pay the price with every step.
In college, pickling our brain didn't seem like a big deal. Now we struggle to remember where we put our keys.
And the money we so foolishly spent - rains down on us as debt.
These are the things we worry about, the junk that orbits the earth and our lives.
Even if we have not been hit by anything serious, we know what is out there and some of it is big. It moves incredible fast and has our name on it.
This week's challenge: write about all the little things that come back to us.
- Write about a good deed that comes back to us.
- Write about the little lie that balloons out of control.
- Write about being bonked on the head by a satellite.
Post your article to Gather Writing Essentials.
BE SURE TO TAG your submission with MWE. Note: I search for articles using the tag "MWE" If you don't tag it right, I will not find it.
Include "Monday Writing Essential" in your title.
- Try to post by next Monday but don't worry if you don't finish in time. I will be glad to include your post the next week.
Last week the challenge was to write about jerks and it drew the following responses:
Weekly reminder: don't forget to recommend an article that you like (to learn why, read Ann Marcaida's article Attract More Writers and Artists to Gather!).. Also try to place a comment on at least one article and say more than you liked the piece. Tell the author what worked and what needs work.