Earth as seen by Yuri GagarinOne of the first photos of Earth from the first man in space. Taken by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin during his orbital flight in April, 1961.

Breath-taking! Imagine being Yuri sitting in his tiny capsule, surrounded by 60s’ technology and life support systems, shooting through the vacuum as the first man in space and looking down at the blue marble below against a black void all around. The first hopeful step of mankind into space. But at the same time leaving no doubt we won’t get significantly farther any time soon…

Except, perhaps, in our imagination…

Image Credit: NASA

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin’ hands, sayin’ “How do you do?”
They’re really saying “I love you”

I hear babies cryin’, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Oh yeah

[Louis Armstrong; Lyrics: George Weiss, Bob Thiele]

Perhaps it’s because I just registered for the Big Sur International Marathon 2014 on April 27th, 2014… 😉

Fairy...I am a huge admirer of Woody Allen and my favorite quote from him reads as follows:

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” [Woody Allen]

It’s not only funny, but also unbelievably comforting, I believe. Makes you smile at yourself when again things don’t turn out as you had planned. As you had expected. As you had prepared everything so diligently. So carefully. So sure it will work along schedule and project plan. As it had to.

As these things go, I had 3 New Year’s resolutions this year:
1. Run the San Francisco Marathon
2. Change something about my job and
3. Finally fulfill a dream that I have been having since I was at university: travel Iceland by bicycle

And as these things also go, and even as the year is barely half through, I have to admit that I only managed to live up to two resolutions:
First, I ran the San Francisco Marathon successfully three weeks ago. What an awesome event! I have blogged about it already.

Second, I changed my job significantly this week taking on a new challenge for SAP — and for myself. What an exciting opportunity!

Trolls...But number three, I had to cancel last week due to number two. And with that, the infamous “window of opportunity” has closed for this year — particularly given the weather conditions in Iceland. There’s currently no way to fit the trip into my schedule. Seems I know one New Year’s resolution for next year already.

But perhaps, just perhaps, these dreams you have for years are supposed to remain dreams. Just for the sake of it. Just to remind you that there’s more to long for. Otherwise — would it have been such a big dream over so many years?

Towards Greenland...So I sit in LH454 again, flying over the Norwegian Sea, approaching Greenland ahead, wondering whether everything does indeed happen for a reason as they say or whether it was the trolls and the fairies, watching us pass Iceland on the inflight info system, somewhere several hundred kilometers below and to the southwest, on our route from Frankfurt to San Francisco, absorbing the surreal scene like through a tiny window of a Sojus space capsule floating silently on its orbit in outer space, dreaming that one day, one fine day, one fine day finally, I am going to make it to Iceland… 😉

“I saw this image when I was a kid. The photograph of Jupiter taken by NASA’s Voyager.
Beautiful.
But nothing special until shown in rapid succession.
Suddenly Jupiter was alive. Breathing. I was hypnotized.”

[Rhoda Williams, Another Earth, 2011]

IMG_4255A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

[John Steinbeck, Travels with Charlie, 1960]