Today, fifty years ago, Yuri Gagarin was awesome.
Like, literally: awesome. Awe-inspiringly, jaw-droppingly, out-of-this-worldly awesome, and I can’t even begin to imagine how crazy and frightening and thrilling his one hour and forty eight minutes not of this earth must have been– not just to him but to the world.
I hear the name Yuri Gagarin, and all I can think of is just one word: awesome.
He was only twenty-seven when he went up into space.
And he had only been thirty-four for a few weeks when he died during a routine exercise.
I am more than a few weeks into thirty-four. I can’t imagine being dead.
I can’t imagine being as awesome/cool/short?/badass as Yuri Gagarin, either, but there is something rattling about finding out that you’ve outlived someone. Especially if that someone is a figure who will always live in our collective consciousness as being a space pioneer– it puts your own significance or possible lack thereof in perspective.
Goodnight, Yuri, wherever you are.