“Darkness, death and great fear were my first encounter with stars and galaxies. It was during a war, an artillery shell exploded near me and shrapnel hit a young soldier tearing his head apart. It was a cold winter night the skies were clear.
My dead friend was lying on a stretcher. We were a small unit in a midst of combat, united by the greatest fear of losing our lives.
Suddenly there were no more battle noises, the land seemed to quite down not a voice, I raised my eyes to the skies, the stars were clear and brilliant and with them the notion that I am but a momentary visitor in this world, I was born accidentally and soon would cease to exist.
In terms of stars life, our span of existence is unnoticed, those stars would still be there shining on the skies long after our physical bodies would turn into ashes and our memory would vanish without trace.
What is the meaning of this young soldier life that is lying dead on a bloody stretcher?
What is the meaning of my life? And what are we in relations to those stars that radiate their energy and light without notice of our limited existence?
Those were the questions that arose in me when I stood fully armed, freezing and dead frightened gazing at the stars, waiting for something, may be a call for cease fire, a resurrection of our dead friend, a light from above a divine message that we truly exist, that our lives are worthy, that we deserve a bit of comfort of tenderness of simple human warmth.
It was still the coldest night, our friend remained dead, we received no celestial signs and there was no sign that this war will terminate soon. I was the youngest officer in the unit, I didn’t t really knew what to do next. I tried to contact my battalion commander but he was out of reach. I ordered my soldiers to hide the best they can against future shells.
Some medics came to evacuate the corpse of our friend then there was silence again and I began to write some notes in a military short water-proof notebook I held in my pocket. If I’ll stay alive from this war I promise to live my life in a constant search for its meaning.
I didn’t know at this point that I’ll become a painter, that I’ll paint celestial elements, stars and galaxies and that I’ll be obsessed by the deep space mysteries.
I came out of this war unharmed physically with a never-ending desire to decipher the meaning of my life.
As I learned more about deep space I found out that the brightest celestial phenomenon are called quasars and they are located in the edge of the darkest deep space bodies which are black holes.
So in life brightness and darkness are not opposites but different energetic levels in the same bar of existence, as life and death are but two states in the same journey.” Ted Barr