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The Space That Remains

Leaving Our Mark

By Judey Kalchik Published 3 years ago 3 min read
The Space That Remains
Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

Thank goodness for Disney+ and the Marvel Universe. Without that franchise, my husband and I would seldom watch TV together.

I like Glee, The Blacklist, musicals, home improvement shows, and any cooking show that isn't Rachel Ray (she's just not right... too perky and gosh-darn peppy...) He likes science, space, theory, and Firefly/Star Trek/Battlestar Galactica, essentially fictional and speculative shows about science, space, and theory.

Although the colors are amazing, the stillness and quiet are fascinating; I am not as entranced with the space-science shows as he is. I am fascinated, though, with the experts featured on the shows. Especially the older guy with wispy white hair that explains what "everyone supposes" about things even though no one can prove it, and I am not likely to see it resolved in my lifetime.

They make a living by confidently explaining theory after theory, interspersed with "we think" and "perhaps" and "here's a blotch we never noticed before", even though it's been up in the sky since people first looked up.

I admire anyone that has dedicated their life to search for truth and knowledge and give them full credit for getting paid to do so. Still, it seems like a bit of flim-flam to me. Designed to make a person tune into the series again and again. Maybe this show will have a breakthrough! Maybe this camera/lens/pixel/beep/bloop/ sand particle will reveal the secrets of the universe.

Although I don't usually pay too strict attention to the shows something did catch my ear the other day. Yet another expert; a man with bushy hair, comfortable sweater, and wire-rim glasses; was explaining that we knew ~for sure~ that something was in a particular patch of sky. We knew, he said, because we couldn't see anything.

They know something is there because they can't see it.

It turns out that the invisible things are for-sure there because of a thing called gravitational lensing. In way-more-simple-than-bushy-haired-man-explained: an object bends light around it and so distorts the light. It's because of the distorted light that we know something is there. The wispy-haired man came on and started smiling and explaining the explanation for the umpteenth time, and I moseyed away.

But I've been playing with this all week, coming back to it like a tongue to a loose tooth. I realized that the thing they think is there is likely not there anymore at all: given the distance the light has to travel for us to see it at all, the big light-lensing thing may not be there anymore. It may not have been there for hundreds or thousands of years. The only thing that tells us it was there is the effect it had on the things around it.

And that, that is something I understand. I believe the same is true of people. It's the effect, the connections, the involvement we have with other people that remains once we are gone.

If I believed in ghosts, it would be that we leave behind an imprint of ourselves. By reaching out to others we change the space around us. We leave our mark on the world by sharing our thoughts, our words, our time, our energy.

Our connections tighten and weave together. Our friends and acquaintances meet each other by coming into the same orbit. The delineation of their possibilities, of their refracted light, of those connections, glows brighter than a single light alone ever could.

When we are present in the lives of those around us, when we show up, it changes the universe. When we are gone, the echo of our presence is still there. We remain even though we aren’t seen.


About the Creator

Judey Kalchik

It's my time to find and use my voice.

Poetry, short stories, memories, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

You can also find me on Medium

And please follow me on Threads, too!

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