At one time Pluto, though the smallest in the solar system and the farthest away (as far as we knew of what we know), was a regular old planet and a part of the Nine Planets some of us grew up reciting in school using a mnemonic that may or may not have made sense, such as: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. But one fine day Pluto was flung out of its A Part of the Whole planet status in our galaxy, left to drift there in the cold and dark. Perhaps because scientists felt so sorry for Pluto in all its lonely isolation, and perhaps they caved a bit at the outcry from Pluto Enthusiasts Everywhere, that they upgraded it to a Dwarf Planet. A consolation prize that didn’t lessen the sting so much as make Pluto feel its pride surging up but its feeling of former belonging to the Great Group surging down.
Though Pluto’s status in the galaxy changed, Pluto had not changed other than the natural changes that occur with any living thing. Pluto was doing as it always did, so far away in its own little world. Pluto is so difficult to explore and know about, since it’s so far away, that it is often misunderstood—and even so, it relays its heart on its pale face, sending messages of please love me! I am worthy! while at the same time keeping its distance away from all the others. A strange contradiction.
A Dwarf Planet is called this because it is so little it cannot clear other objects out of its path. Oh, my friends, some of us do relate to that . . . right? We see obstacles of every size and though we may feel mighty, we can’t seem to clear the way—and we see the other planets big and important doing what we struggle with and that only make us feel smaller and lonelier. We begin to feel this ineptness creep up on us. That inept feeling erodes and causes us to flounder. It’s all too much! we wail. And, it is.
One day on earth is 24 hours. But on Pluto? One day is the equivalent of 6 and ½ days. Time drags on slowly and methodically, though at the end of it, how much was accomplished? It feels as if we squandered that six and one-half days. On Pluto, we see all the busy people accomplishing in one Earth day what it takes us almost a week to do—because it’s all on us. Things pile up. Home repairs, cleaning up after ourselves, food shopping, bill paying, dog care, work. We’re pocked by the obstacles smacking us senseless and we cannot clear the way because we are, or feel, so tiny. [Read more…]