Advice from Space: Let’s Make a Baby
Dear Advice from Space,
Why does the late fall/early winter feel so warm? Can you see the warmth from Space? Are we doomed? My despair is rising.
Doomed in 2015
Dear Doomed in 2015,
I got a wonderful holiday surprise this week! I was informed by my Mission Control Team that they’d hidden a package on board my spacecraft as a little pick-me-up. Rifling through the bag of “Space Extras” I found a few hotel-sized bars of pine scented soap. In Space, my bathing is restricted to various pro- and anti-bacterial chemical sprays, so there’s not much draw for soap in the traditional sense. But they smelled so nice—so seasonal! so piney!—that I wanted to use them somehow.
With my trusty 12-in-one multipurpose tool, I carved a little manger scene out of one of the bars of soap. It’s a little blobby, but if you squint you can sort of make out a baby Jesus in a manger, surrounded by gentle sheep-cow hybrids. I tried to carve a little Madonna-and-child statue, too, but if I’m honest with myself, it more resembles Athena being birthed from Zeus’s forehead.
In all, it was a welcome departure from my usual hobbies, which these days include missing my family, pretending I’m drinking coffee, and entertaining a wide variety of worries. The truth is, there is a lot to worry about. I strongly believe that worry is a useful feature of the human experience. It keeps us awake and alert and ready to spring into action at 3 in the morning, whether there is something we can act on or not. When in doubt, I choose to play it safe and worry as much as possible.
Although I’m considering a career change to either interpretive dance or investment banking, as an astronaut I am technically a “scientist,” and I do try to stay up on the climatic changes of my most beloved planet. And as with any emergency, some people are more capable of taking action than others. Legislators, climatologists, and Elon Musk have specific jobs to do. I have my own way to pitch in. In Space, I keep detailed logs of measurements, readings, suspicious ticks, and clanks. I do my best to communicate what I see. It’s my job.
It’s your job, too. As a human of creative persuasion, you’re a specialized emergency responder. You are uniquely capable of communicating old ideas in new ways. You are equal parts reporter and inventor, and you reach people in ways that others can’t.
Doomed in 2015, it’s true that fever is a sign of illness. But it’s also a symptom of pregnancy. For creators, the new year is full of opportunities to make new things, and to make old things new. There are so many ways for you contribute, as only you can! The possibilities are there, ready to be invented. Who knows what miraculous thing you might bring into the world?
Advice from Space
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