“Have you seen the stars?” she asked, “Have you ever seen the stars? But what is it you think you have seen? That one there—has ceased to exist since before you were born. And that one there shall never return your admiration. But they have not been flung away by the ambitions of your mortality or your science. Their distance is irreducible not only by the stretching of space (always outside of us) but because they can never be—or at least are no longer—the objects of sense, unlike even the naked existence of the rocks and pinecones beneath your feet, indifferent to the passage of time, to the conditions of your origin, to generation and destruction. They are those of which we cannot say there is—neither figments of your imagination nor simply seen. They are experienced only in inner space … as your companions.”
When we turned to ask how this could be so, she had ceased to speak and was no longer there.