The Last Planet Parade

From early childhood, I have been into two things – space and football. Watching football is like watching stars being born. There are certain rules and forces – almost like in mathematics or physics; it is impossible to make any close predictions, yet you know that in the end something will happen. Every time you feel as if you witness the birth of a tiny piece of the universe, a speck of human history. Well, and you have to focus on the trajectories of spheres as well.

I hardly remember what came first – football or space. However, space may have come around when father gave me a celestial globe instead of a ball. I do not think he would have bought it himself – friends must have given it to him and he decided to share his hobby with me. My father was an enthusiastic man, a true dreamer, even though his life was not all honey. Now I realize that his interest in outer space and science fiction was a kind of defense reaction to his dull life. Space felt like wonder – as football did.

The first time father caught himself thinking about space was, according to him, when Yury Gagarin, the first cosmonaut on Earth, visited their factory in Manchester. As it turned out, Gagarin – before he defied our planet’s gravity – had studied to be a foundryman and that was the reason why, besides his meeting with the Queen, he scheduled trade union gatherings and factory tours. Needless to say, father, who back then worked at Metrovickers factory, was deeply impressed. Later on he would many times tell me that there was something heavenly in his appearance, even though that heavenly creature was a regular working guy. Apparently, Britain had gone crazy back in the day. Only The Beatles could compete with Gagarin. And nowadays – only rave and ecstasy, I suppose. Both were exciting and felt like exploring new lands, never seen by the human eye.

For me space was something frightening and tantalizing at a time. To be honest, as a child I was afraid of the clear night sky full of stars. You could see it once in a while in those parts. However, when it happened, I couldn not get rid of the feeling that someone was watching me. Father had probably noticed it and one day gave me – on top of the globe – a small telescope, telling me that I must befriend the thing that was watching me and, what is more, become as great as Jeremiah Horrocks. That is how my astronomic life began. Today, years later, I can say that at least I have managed to succeed in the first part of his guidance.

It all started when I watched The Last Appulse for the first time. Although, this expression did not exist at the time, it came much later. For me it was an amazing January adventure that happened every year around the same time at the end of the second month of winter. It consisted in a peculiar movement of planets in one far away galaxy, which name I must keep as a strict secret. But anybody who wants to verify my words may set up a telescope in my room on January 22nd, following signs on the floor, and align it to the window.

At first, I made little of my observations. However, once I noticed recurrent acts of attention coming from space, I realized that I had better taken it seriously. For almost ten years, I had been trying to make sense of all those marvelous space pas. All my efforts had been in vain until one day: I was at a rave, staring at the sky, when a curious idea came to me. The mystery of the planetary movement, which I had struggled with, could be solved through dance. Dance served the same purpose for people as those movements – for planets. But what was it exactly? To solve the cosmic message I organized a small outdoor party on January 22nd, naming it The Last Appulse. Guests had been advised to wear space and planetary suits. I got a camera with a tripod and brought my telescope for the occasion.

The party was a blast! I managed to film a few hours of dancing and planetary movement. The footage required a lot of time and effort. I kept daily records, trying to find patterns I had been looking for. I did not miss a single detail. Nevertheless, I could not find the solution until the solution came to me, as it often happens, in a dream. It turned out that The Last Appulse was a funeral ceremony of some sort, but not in our earthly sense. It was not simply a farewell, but a creative resurrection, in a way. How come? The planets I saw were not, strictly speaking, planets or, so to say, naturally born planets. They were copies of progenitor planets that had given birth to a superadvanced civilization of the future. I was not hundred percent sure, but it seemed to me that there was Earth among those planets. So, they were sort of retracing the paths of the stars that had vanished in a blackhole, attracted by it from the center of the Milky Way and devoured. Every year this ritual was performed with slight deviations. I think it was some sort of religious ritual, which had lost its original significance. It could also be described as a piece of art. At the same time, I had a revelation that this civilization’s inhabitants lived forever. They did not have the past and the future, as we know it. They were not born and did not die. They existed at a museum, which we know as outer space, our universe.

Yes, I know, it all sounds a bit surprising. Even father refused to believe me for a long time. But I know what I am saying. These sort of things are not easy to deal with. It is hard to find the right words or even numbers to describe them. Often, you have to trust your intuition. Human capacity is very limited. Particularly, as far as art of more advanced civilizations is concerned. Actually, in most cases, it is not accessible to the human mind at all. However, dancing, intuition and openness towards space help us feel this amazing beauty. I think that all religions of the world are just insights into the space art of the future. For those of us who for some reason are afraid to face this truth, there is a visual image of what we can achieve, once our body and mind are fully involved. This idea inspired me to create stained glass windows in my room, which serve as a symbolical representation of The Last Appulse. Of course, I do not urge you to meditate on or iconize it. Nevertheless, a chance to feel the waves of light, travelling millions of kilometers to be shaped by the stained glass and touch your body, is worth it. There is still a long way to go before we reach the same level as the creators of this space museum. However, we come closer through this contact.