- This is in answer to:
- If you were offered a free trip to the moon, would you go? Why or why not? See all answers
- November 21, 2010 by assentia
- There and Back Again?
Hint: To come back from somewhere, you have to go there first...
When asked whether I would take an offer for a free trip to the moon, my first thought was to be snarky. Oh, moon holidays, that's so last century. How about a plot of land up there instead, something to keep, something that so few others can possibly have, all mineminemine!
If you are suspecting already that my answer to such an offer would be no, pat yourselves on the back and grab a cookie. Mind you, my reasons for declining are probably different from what you imagine, or what most people would say.
It has nothing about lunar mystique and ruining it by seeing what a dusty, barren rock of a world it is up close. Seriously, who hasn't seen photos of the moon by now? Where is the mystique to be shattered? Yes, it's like a pockmarked face; what's the big deal? Most things on earth are ugly on close inspection. Mystique is created by distance, peppered with some legerdemain. That's why when something is dissected into the bare facts, it is 'demystified'. On the other hand, I very much doubt any astronaut who has walked on the moon has lost their liking for watching it from earth for knowing what it is truly like, instead of the bright body of light we perceive it as. I'm no different. I would still ooh and aah over red and blue moons, try to capture it dotted with shadows at dusk (like the pic up there) or faint and winking early in the morning, and watch eclipses progress with fascination.
No, the issue is that virtually anyone offered such a trip would do it just for the experience, so they could boast to anyone who would stick around long enough to listen, back home. Me, I'm not big on travelling on my own homeworld, let alone going off through space into another - so the money isn't a big lure either. I'm not an experience collector; the experiences I go after are important as landmarks to myself, and are at least indirectly connected to people, not places.
I'd take the Trans-Siberian railway, to trace the Russian culture from the fringes of Europe into the Far East. I'd go on walkabout in the Dinétah, to immerse myself in the spirit of a people more primordial than my own, growing out of the bones of the earth. The desolate, inhospitable rock that is the moon... what does it have to offer me in way of understanding the earth? A lot... but through lighting my way through the night here, not up there, where the equipment that would keep me alive would also isolate me from the real experience. Thanks, but no thanks.