Have you heard the story of the Russian Cosmonaut?
So the cosmonaut – he’s the first man ever to go into space.
The Russians beat the Americans. He goes up in this big spaceship,
but the inhabitable part of it is very small. See, the Cosmonaut is in there.
And he’s got this portal window, and he’s looking out of it, and he sees the
curvature of the earth. For the first time. The first man to ever look at the
planet he’s from. And he’s lost in that moment. And all of a sudden, this
strange ticking… is coming out of the dashboard.
He rips out the control panel, takes out his tools, trying to find this sound –
trying to stop this sound. But he can’t find it. He can’t stop it. It keeps going.
A few hours into this, it begins to feel like torture. A few days go by with this
sound and he knows that this. Small. Sound. will break him. He’ll lose his mind.
But what’s he going to do? He’s up in space. Alone. In a space closet.
He’s got 25 days left to go, with this sound. So the cosmonaut decides that the
only way to save his sanity, is to fall in love, with this sound. So he closes his eyes,
and he goes into his imagination, and then he opens them.
He doesn’t hear ticking anymore. He hears music. And he spends the remainder
of his time sailing through space in total bliss.
Brit Marling tells it really well in her role as Rhoda Williams. Told slowly with strategic pauses, a constant knock-on-wood ticking sound and the moment of realization in the end. What I love about this story is the shift in perspective. There are so many things going on around us that we sometimes go crazy with frustration. We need to remind ourselves to slow down, take a breath, and that everything will be OK. If you can calm down, think things through, change the pace, change your perspective, everything – whether it’s a hidden constant ticking, a snot-nosed kid that won’t stop crying at 4 AM, a broken wrist and elbow on your birthday, or hell- even public speaking, could be a positive experience. There are many things that you cannot control or change in the world. Just keep in mind that your perspective and how you choose to react to the situation in your surroundings isn’t one of them.
*NOTE: If you haven’t seen it, check out this movie and watch it. The ending was somewhat predictable but it presents an interesting question: What if there was a parallel earth? If there was another you, would you want to meet yourself? What would you say? What would you think? What would happen?
The First Man in Space: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Gagarin