Ad Astra – A Letter from Chandler Johnson

A Letter from Chandler Johnson

January 16, 2023

Ad Astra per Aspera.
Ad Astra per Aspera.
I have to keep reminding myself…
Ad Astra

In the early 1960s, we embarked on a new frontier. We organized and came together to ‘shoot for the moon.’ We chose to do the hard things because they weren’t easy. And while in that same timeframe, we made giant leaps for mankind in space, the field of dreams for ALL humankind is significantly unsown. The Land of the Free is still chained with broken promises and systemic fences that stagnate generational growth.

Yet, we still look to the stars to help guide us on our journey…

When President Kennedy proclaimed to people at Rice University that we would go to the moon, the lunar landing didn’t happen the next day. It took tiny steps forward instead of giant leaps to the beyond. It took years of work. It took countless hours for an inch of progress—incremental momentum.

It takes sacrifices to fight every day for inches of movement instead of idling, waiting for the allure of grand gesture from the cosmos.

When we lost people in 2020, it felt like the stars had aligned for us to make the most significant changes since Martin and Malcolm’s death. Instead, the moment was met with illusions of change. Those mirages, on top of the weight of a pandemic, broke me. I was empty—because blackouts and other things aren’t the fuel to get us to the stars, those strategies only make the picture clearer for a brief moment until everyone switches the lights back on.

Maybe we need a line from JFK to keep on course to reach MLK’s Dream… We choose to do things not because they are easy but because they are hard.

And that’s why I’m back for more. That’s why I’m never giving up.

If you can’t tell, this has been a metaphor for the past three years of my life. Since I started this project, I don’t know if I’ve gotten any wiser or know any new answers to the secrets of the universe. But I know the stars still call for us to connect the dots. The inches we need for progress are everywhere around us; once we connect all those points, the constellation will be a sight to see.

Ad Astra per Aspera — to the stars through difficulties. We’re going to get there inch by inch.

Until then, take care out there.

Chandler Johnson