3a, and the lights went out.
The train rushes down the track, a great screaming beast outside, but inside, a low rumble, a hushed roar as my few fellow passengers sleep on.
3a, and the lights went out, and all I could see out of one window was the New York City skyline. I said, “It’s pretty at night.”
Pretty at night. This was my first thought of a city I hardly knew, a city I’ve seen but twice in my life. This was my opinion of a city founded on bloodshed and beads, a city forever changing faces as it changes hands. Anthony Bourdain said something once about how he loves the city but hates what it’s become. Like it matters.
A hundred years ago, the lights I called pretty didn’t exist. They were nowhere near existing. Hundred-yard homes that scraped the sky were beyond the scope of man’s imagination.
Yet I say this, and I think of Babel. Babel, of the Bible, the Tower that touched Heaven, the Tower that God struck down in arrogance (His or theirs?), and I look at the cities of today, the World of Tomorrow. I look at the Burj Khalifa, the Empire State Building. Had it been man’s dream to revisit Babel, to sit upon the throne of God just for a moment, just to see what it’s like?
Is this not why we have creators? Artists, writers, contractors, engineers, architects, filmmakers, storytellers, geneticists, quantum physicists, all creators, all following paths, performing skills, taking up careers that would make them, in their own right, creators.
Man has always likened himself to God. Man was said to have been created in God’s image. If, should the legends be true, Man was indeed created in the image of God, why, then, do we punish the arrogant, the over-confident, as blasphemers?
Are they not finishing what their Creator started?
And here, I digress. At three in the morning on a train bound for New England.
All because I set eyes on the world’s most recognizable skyline and immediately thought of Babel.
Yes, a century before, such a city was beyond the comprehension of man.
But we created anyway.
Ever there were such a thing as impossible, we, as a race, have always found a means by which to make it possible. The impossible is, has always been, will always be possible.
Because Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge and granted her children the power to create of their own accord.
Because eons of evolution favored not those with the quickest feet, but those with the quickest wits.
Ever someone tells you, “It can’t be done,” take them for a walk.
Show them a skyscraper.
Show them an automobile.
Show them a lightbulb.
Then ask them if something cannot be done.
The impossible is, has been, will always be possible.