To Anthony–From Great Grandpa

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Dear Anthony,

Your reading this letter is confirmation that the ticking of my weak heart’s clock has sadly come to its natural end.  Nevertheless, do not despond.  I hope you will cherish our moments together, especially the recollections of my adventures.

My journals will remain, as always, on the cherry oak bookcase beside the fireplace of my dusty library.

In my journals I live and shall never die.  When you are sad, there I will be.  When you are in trouble, you’ll know where to find me.  Do not despair, child.  The world will bring many hardships and trials, this I can assure you, but the adventures and stories compiled in my logs are proof that you can survive any malady and you will most certainly defeat any enemy that dare stand before you.

I bestow unto you, as a token, my golden Charles-Hubert pocket watch.  It is 56 years old.  Care for it with your life.  This watch has been in the possession of your father and grandfather for over half a century now.  I hope you will also pass it on to your children and grandchildren to preserve our memory.

When you have grown old–like this watch—you will understand that, although our bodies perish, our souls remain immortal as long as we leave a legacy behind for our loved ones to cherish.

With love,

Your great grandfather,

L. D. Davis

To Anthony–From Great Grandpa

Day 94

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It has been yet another beautiful yet busy day on the International Space Station.  There seemed to be a slight malfunction with the ETCS (cooling system).  Yuri tells me that the Soyuz picked up an abnormality on the surface of one of the sub-panels about a year ago, but it didn’t really seem like anything too serious.  It was really acting up today, though, so we checked it out.  Yuri and I embarked on a routine spacewalk to assess the situation, tethered of course by the umbilical cable that gives us the oxygen and electric power we need for the EVA (extravehicular activity) session.

I tell you, it doesn’t matter how many times I walk out into space; every single time I see that blue gem, our beautiful planet, I am dwindled with awe.  How is it that people so small in comparison with this gargantuan and majestic jewel can develop the technology to exit its incredible atmosphere?

Anyhow, we floated over to the section of S1 where the radiator is located to examine the underlying panel.  In order to prevent any possible ammonia leakage, we completely shut off the ammonia tubing on the damaged panel.  Whatever ammonia might have leaked out we vented out with the same valve.

After we cut off the ammonia tubing, we confirmed on S1′s control panel that the ammonia that leaked out was not sufficient to require immediate replacement, nor was it cause for alarm.  In any case, the Mission Commander has informed the HQ of the need for a replacement of the S1 radiator, which should be provided by an expedition in the near future.

Photo by Nasa

Day 94

What Can Happen in a Second

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Death is imminent–quicker than the speed of light and as inexplicable as the creation of our universe.  Yet, God may not exist, but death definitely does.  Benjamin Franklin was correct when he stated in his letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”.  Taxes, however, can be evaded, adjusted and fraudulently composed, but the somber and irremediable truth is that, as we speak and conduct our daily business, there is a force lurking, waiting for the opportune moment to do with us what it may.

In a second, a wrong step could be made whilst climbing a ladder and a man could tumble to his ultimate end.  In an instance, a car could lose a tire and with it the family that it carried within.  In a moment, a child could inhale his first taste of crisp and wonderful air only to exhale it for the first and last time in its unfortunately short lifetime.

Yes, Azrael is everywhere, in everything, watching us, waiting for us, be it with compassion or villainy, until the moment has come for our last gasp of air to be released and returned to the atmosphere of our planet.

Painting by Evelyn De Morgan, “Angel of Death”

What Can Happen in a Second

The Start of a New Year

It is the start of a new year.  I am determined to make this the year when I begin my career in writing alongside my primary source of income.  There are many goals I wish to achieve in 2014.  Among which mostly involve my little family–my girlfriend and 2 year old daughter.  I would like us to attain stability from this year forward and I would also like to work the hardest on growing my skills in writing.

I received the most amazing Christmas present from my wonderful girlfriend, Claudia, whom gave me a Waterman Hemisphere fountain pen personalized with my name on it along with ‘642 Things to Write About’, both of which I have already started using.  She has been a great support and motivation to me and I am confident that I will be able to accomplish my literary goals soon due to her coaching.

I will be posting every one of the ‘642 Things to Write About’, so feel free to read them and please offer your most honest critiques.

I wish everyone a prosperous and successful year!

The Start of a New Year

Happiness is Borrowed

Moments of happiness, scattered and isolated, yet peaceful and sublime, are bestowed upon us simply to be erased instantaneously. Rivalry and contention exists simply to remind us of how ephemeral the pinch of bliss really is. Eternal happiness will never exist, but it almost seems better that way, because we learn to savor the short-lived happiness with delicacy. In the end, sunshine is born after the fearful storm.

Happiness is Borrowed

Wisdom and Knowledge are not the Same

Wisdom does not spring from knowledge, but through observation. Knowledge is dead without application. Wisdom, however, can be imparted from experience.
The example of the sage teaches more than the contents of a thousand books.
Wisdom always listens whilst knowledge only speaks.
The wise man is a fool in the scholar’s eyes, but only because the wise man does not boast of his intellect. On the other hand, scholars abound and speak only what another has already discovered.
The sage knows little, but he understands vastly. He isn’t abreast with the teachings of scholarly level, but he cares more for his neighbors’ lives than for his own.

Wisdom and Knowledge are not the Same