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A Love Affair & A Thank You

Well, today is the day. Not only does today mark the tenth anniversary of Carl Sagan's passing and the beginning of a new moon, it is the day that a certain someone returns from overseas and into my arms. Dr. Sagan is partly responsible for this lasting love affair of mine, and after thinking all week about what to write today for the blog-a-thon, this seems appropriate.

Cosmos first aired a year before I was born, and so I didn't come to know Carl's face until college, when my dear friend and roommate began borrowing the series from the public library on VHS. At this point, I had a couple of the doctor's books under my belt and an amateur passion about science. My introduction to the Cosmos television series coincided with the beginning of a relationship with a certain young lady, and those late nights on the living room couch - the VCR humming, Vangelis swirling about us, and Carl's entrancing enunciation - helped to seal a bond which continues to grow after four years. Dr. Sagan helped us share the wonder of existence with each other, and for this (among countless other things) I am immensely grateful to him.

Nine days ago, while daydreaming in my cubicle and chatting with Bryan H., we decided to start in order to commemorate this important man's passing. I can't express what a fulfilling project it's been. I want to thank everyone who has contributed; I share your sentiments whole-heartedly. I also want to give a special thanks to Joel for conceiving of today's blog-a-thon, to Nick Sagan for helping to spread the word, to boingboing for their post yesterday (surely the biggest reason we've been getting so many hits), and to Ann Druyan for her encouragement.

Carl articulated something that no other scientist has managed to do. All chemistry and physics aside, WE ARE STAR STUFF. The fact of that sentence still gives me a profound sense of security. It is a timeless four word poem for all of humanity. For an atheist like myself (albeit a reluctant one some days), reading and rereading Carl's words are akin to prayer. Feeling small, it seems to me, is the beginning of understanding the truth about who and what we are. We are star stuff. We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.

Thank you, Carl.