Monday, 28 November 2011

Long View from the Tiny Pueblo

When all the fear, aches, ugliness, bad news, and impending disaster gets to be too much, I take my telescope out into the yard and look up at the stars and planets and moon. I still love the moon best. (Probably because it is easiest to find with my telescope!)

Here is the latest from NASA, shot over the last couple of months from the International Space Station. Sit down for a minute and take a breath and let it play.

It is not just pretty pictures. It is pure philosophy.

The sky is the best free show in the whole universe. It is calm and dark and huge and so far away, and so constant. Even though humans have mapped the stars and planets, given them names and measures and grades, the stars themselves remain value-free. They don´t care.

I get caught-up in fear, aches, ugliness, bad news and impending disasters, I do not look outside myself, even though we have a choice. I get so caught up in relationships, schedules, neighbors, communities, politics, I stop seeing other people as struggling creatures who are just like me, trying to fix what is broken, trying to change people and policies and things to make life more secure and happy, to make the pain and fear go away.

I am just a creature. I will not be here for long.
The planet does not care if I am liberal or conservative, Muslim or Christian or atheist. It does not care if the oceans are poisoned or the price of silver or Euros or coffee is going up, or if currency is collapsing.

It will keep turning, light and darkness, lightning and Northern Lights, with me or without me. With us, or without us. 



Gerry Snape said...

this has gone a long way to help me in what was a very upsetting morning trying to teach a woman watercolour painting who is pretty well unteachable and also rather rude! thankyou.

claire said...

I don't know why but I expect the planet enjoys to be loved, as we all do.

Your walking with Julia and your dog and enjoying the paths and lanes around Moratinos, giving a massage to the earth with your feet (to quote Sil) must be thoroughly pleasant to the planet, which otherwise can be so poorly handled when not straight out raped.

Somehow when I stop and think about it I feel at one with the cosmos and I really like that :-)

Falla said...

It is pure philosophy from any perspective. Or some may even say pure speculation on what one thinks in ones own mind about their personal beliefs and opinions, but a wonderful and awe-inspiring place this earth and the universe is!
i still can't shake the mixed emotions i get from watching this. The Earth truly is our home. No matter what we think, feel or believe. Cheers! :~)

FrereRabit said...

I have just returned from the stable with the donkey foals, and their mothers, all calm at night. Up there above the stable, the great whirling mass of stars. Yes, we will be gone in an instant. Our moment of cuddling fluffy two month old foals is precious, finite, and not news-worthy!

ksam said...

Having just spent a long holiday weekend with family, some of whom are quite taken with things and stuff and money, this was medicinal! Gracias. We are so small! I rather like it. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total darkness sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

Auden,1957 Posted by Toad.

Kerry said...

Breathtaking. I have a habit of waking at 3am (I mistakenly cued our stovetop light to turn on from 3:00 -3:30am. Since I can't fix it, I use it as my cue for my erstaz Trappist awakenings.)

Last night, I went out the backdoor and gasped, it was so spiky with starlight. Who needs diamonds with all that natural glitter. I think the night is more honest than daylight. Daylight makes us feel parochial, but at night, distance isn't hidden from us. and we see our tiny place in this multiverse.

FrereRabit said...

This is my second comment on this post. I just came in from spending time with the donkeys in the moonlight. Cold here tonight on the Costa Blanca but the donkeys are warm. The two months of daily physical contact with the foals has paid off: they quietly lick my ears while I sit looking at the stars.

Erin said...

Oh, thanks for this Rebekah. I´ve been spotting your blogposts in the chaos of FB..and planning a trip here. And this was just reward for making it today. You brought a favorite Frost poem back to this long-ago New Englandah.
On Looking Up By Chance at the Constellations

You'll wait a long, long time for anything much
To happen in heaven beyond the floats of cloud
And the Northern Lights that run like tingling nerves.
The sun and moon get crossed, but they never touch,
Nor strike out fire from each other nor crash out loud.
The planets seem to interfere in their curves -
But nothing ever happens, no harm is done.
We may as well go patiently on with our life,
And look elsewhere than to stars and moon and sun
For the shocks and changes we need to keep us sane.
It is true the longest drought will end in rain,
The longest peace in China will end in strife.
Still it wouldn't reward the watcher to stay awake
In hopes of seeing the calm of heaven break
On his particular time and personal sight.
That calm seems certainly safe to last to-night.

A pleasure to join you here tonight, in Moratinos from chllly Chicago where we can forgot there ARE constellations...