Venus Descending

Musical accompaniment: The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958).

Artistic accompaniment: Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).

Dietary accompaniment: Pre-packaged Italian sub from local grocery store (Best by 2/20/09).


An open letter to the planet Venus, written after a twilight walk in winter, inspired by the colors of the sunset sky, motivated by a sense of spiritual disillusionment, influenced by a sense of financial foreboding, and fueled by coffee and rum.


February, 2009

Second Planet
Helios Solar System
Outer Spiral, Milky Way Galaxy 10101-0101

Dear Venus,

Hello, my old friend. You accompany me as I walk in descending twilight. You are a celestial diamond, burning with a light reflected from a greater source, sparkling with a brilliance unmatched in the winter sky.

You have accompanied me along my travels, and along my travails, from childhood to adulthood, and from adulthood to mid-life. You have ruled over the western sky for billions of years before my arrival. And there, in the western sky, your reign will continue for one billion, two billion, three billion years or more after my departure.

You shone outside the window of my youth, glimmering over distant Blue Hills, following the setting sun toward the western horizon. And now you shine outside the window of my middle-age years, shimmering over Kelley Bay, forever present, and forever following the almighty sun into night.

We who live upon Terra are fleeting. We are but a flame, flickering, dancing, sputtering on the knife-edge of darkness. We are mortal, fragile, delicate against the cloak of the eternal. We alight, and then we depart. Ours is of the finite. Yours is of the near infinite. Yet, together, we coexist in this universe.

Why? Why are we here? Is there a meaning to it all? Is there a reason? Is there a plan? Or are we merely randomness cast upon the raging seas of the heavens? Is there an order to things? Or is all of existence merely chaos? Does God reign over the Heavens? And if there is a God, does He believe in my existence, even when I do not believe in His?

A human lifespan - in the realm of the infinite, we humans are nearly nonexistent. In a universal ocean of waves, we are but a microscopic organism, an amoeba, invisible to the cosmos.

This is nuts! This is insane! I refuse to accept it! I refuse to be nothing more than a mortgage payment to some banking institution! I refuse to be nothing more than a term life policy to some insurance company! Or a tax bill to be collected! Or an electric bill to be paid! I refuse to be merely a debit or a credit in some company's ledger book! I refuse to be merely just another name to one day become etched onto a granite slab lost amongst a sea of similar granite slabs!

And yet, my old friend, you remain silent, voiceless toward my commentary, unmoved by my questioning, contently shimmering and glimmering in the western sky. Your secrets unrevealed. Your truths untold. Your intentions shrouded in a mist of clouds!

Venus, you celestial diamond! You taunt me! You haunt me! You remind me that I am nothing more than the descendant of primates, the product of random evolution, devoid of deity, pinned to this earth by gravity, at the whim of the forces of nature, put here merely to procreate in order to further the species, with nothing beyond this life but the pitch darkness of eternal sleep, no Heaven, no Hell, only abyss.

Is there nothing more? Am I to live out my days without true realization? Without true enlightenment? Without achieving a true understanding of my place in the cosmos? I refuse to accept it! I refuse!

There must be more to this existence! There must be more. There must be. There must...

Sincerely yours,

Jack Sheedy

PS: Please pass along my warmest regards to Mercury and the rest of the family. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on