I don’t find myself looking at the stars nearly as much as I used to. This may be a result of aging and a stiffer neck, but I suspect it’s a great deal more about a myopic perspective on life. I spend a lot of time just looking at my feet or the three yards in front of me rather than gazing up at the stars and getting lost under a sky that covers the world with the same picture at least for one moment each day.
As a teenager, I would lay on a blanket on the deck here at this house and lose myself in the millions of stars above me. I could imagine where the stars were, and as my friend Annie pointed out as we sat below a bejeweled sky last night, when they were. I kept an eye out for my ever-faithful love-interest, Orion, and tried to pick out the feminine nebula on his scabbard. I would just stare.
Maybe there’s a reason so many of misspell “staring” as “starring.”
As the years have passed, I’ve spent less and less time resting into the earth and dreaming into the sky. Most of my time passes with me on two feet or two cheeks at least partially upright, and I fear I am missing something by not taking more time to just disappear into a vastness that cannot be limited.
Recently, my friend Heather’s son Henry asked her how big space is, and she told him that no one knew. I love the simpleness of the question and the answer, and I love the massiveness of the mystery that comes in being able to ask something for which there is no answer.
I need more time when I just let my mind wander into something gorgeous and grand. My writing needs that, my relationships need that, my life needs that. I need the space that opens when I let my agendas and plans go. I need space to remind me of the idea of eons and millenia; I need space to remind me of the vastness that is me.
I want to lay on the deck and let my mind skim through the stars and imagine the spaces around them that seem so full of darkness from here but really glimmer with matter – with things that matter. I want to rest my stiff neck against the earth and know that somewhere in Ecuador or Scotland or South Africa someone will see or has seen these same stars and found his peace and her breath amongst them, too.
– “Sky over the Church of the Good Shepherd at Night” – Image Copyright Neil Creek