paraphrased from the new york times…

We used to think we were spinning
around the center of the Milky Way
at about half million mph.
Technology now suggests
we’re traveling about 600,000 mph.
Now we think the Milky Way
has 50 percent more mass,
with a second major arm of stars
spiraling outward
from the Milky Way’s central disk.

Our understanding of the galaxy around us
is undergoing a paradigm shift;
but the only real change
is the new space inside our heads.

We feel no new physical sensation;
we’re moving as fast as we always were.
What we do experience is our minds
catching up to our actual physical speed.

We are so exquisitely attuned
to celestial motions
that we seem to be standing still,
no matter how our understanding
of the universe changes.

This new thinking
brings to mind a galactic paradox.

We cannot
get an outside view of the Milky Way.
We’re blind to its structure and motions
because we live inside it.
We can observe the Andromeda galaxy
Because we can see the whole of it
in the distance with the naked eye
on a dark, clear night outside the City.

But there is no looking back at the Milky Way.
We can only imagine ourselves in it.


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