In The Green Hills of Earth, a short story by Robert A. Heinlein, “Noisy” Rhysling, a blind and dying balladeer is catching rides back to Earth where he wants to be laid to rest. Yet he sacrifices himself to repair a malfunctioning space ship. His final song, before he dies…
…harsh bright soil of Luna –
Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far drives the thundering jet –
Saturn’s rainbow rings –
the frozen night of Titan –
We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth
Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.
Then there are Batty’s final words in Blade Runner:
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”
Yes, Batty is the “bad guy,” but at that moment he’s captured his life as neatly as the pair of doves he holds in his hands. And he is transformed, as is Dekker, the “good guy.” Both want to experience “things you people wouldn’t believe.”
It takes courage to set emotions to paper and perseverance to claim the tale. It takes courage to be a writer. We might not wear armor and carry swords, but then again, I have traveled through space, danced on moons, and won the battle of battles. I’ve traveled back in time and flown P-51s. I’ve risked my life to save others, and I’ll do it all again tomorrow. I hope you will, too.