Or so Tennyson says.
The truth behind his words is that mankind has no control over our actions. Fate is an all-powerful force that pushes us to the edge of the earth and over; leaving us to free fall and wonder at our own heaviness while we plummet blindly to the end.
Not so long ago stars were seen as gods, otherworldly creatures above us, holding the secrets of the universe safely tucked away in their decadent illumination. But, if the “stars blindly run” as Tennyson believed, their molecules driving them to the end of the universe; they, hopeless participants in a fate that was long decided by the laws of nature, running and not caring to look because, what would it matter anyway? Then what would that mean for mankind? It would mean we are enslaved to the same fate.
However, if this statement isn’t true–is that much better? Humans would have to take responsibility for their actions, and that seems like a much more terrifying fate. Every wrong decision, every evil thought and action, all the pain–responsibility would lie on us and us alone.
The thought of being blindly driven to our fate…as disturbing as it may seem, there is also comfort in the thought. The stress, the pain, the worry that comes with the excruciating labor that is putting together our lives, that is in every thought, breath, touch, tear, word…it’s overwhelming, sometimes. Having something else do all of this for us–seems like a heavy burden lifted from our shoulders.
And yet…how could we live, if not imperfectly? What is a life if we are not the ones to blame, the ones to thank, the ones to totally and completely fuck up and be okay with it? It’s hard to be responsible. It’s even harder to be powerless. So, Tennyson must stand corrected:
The stars do not run blindly.