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This is stunning:

Astronomy is the one thing that consistently soothes me, comforts me, stimulates my imagination, stirs my sense of the numinous.

I post these to share that with you, my friends. I hope you feel some of that, too.

When I was a boy, my first love was the sky. Our first nights together went like this: I would set my alarm to go off at two in the morning so I could lug my telescope out of the garage (where it was cooling) into the Minnesota winter night. I would haul this thing - 80 pounds of cast aluminum and Pyrex glass and white-painted fiberglas - hundreds of yards through knee-deep snow into a truly dark area where I would set up and observe until the mirrors frosted over or the sun rose, whichever came first. These meetings were my greatest joy - a quiet joy, with very little laughing aloud, though I did smile and sigh and, yes, sometimes laugh alone in the dark, far from the lights of home and miles from town. For a long time, that was my only joy.

I've had several loves since, but none has remained in my heart for quite so long as the night sky. Our trysts are rarer now than when we first met, but we drop right into the heat of things as soon as we embrace.



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 29th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
I know the only rivals for my husband's heart are those seven sisters. They have a past.
Apr. 29th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC)


I so understand that. I've edited this post in response.
Apr. 29th, 2007 05:29 am (UTC)
Wow, you do understand. That's really lovely.
Apr. 29th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)
Thank you for prompting me to remember it that way. Thank you.
Apr. 29th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
For years, I've never been able to look at the night sky without thinking of you specifically because of your love for it. One of my happiest memories is of Vikingcon and looking way up into the dark sky while you stood behind me, keeping me from falling over as you pointed out the sights. Another was the night we drove all over hell and gone to get to the good viewing place for the Loonids - the sky was magnificent with shooting stars. And then that dorky, clumsy bat crashed into the bushes near us and scared the bejesus out of me. Still, an amazing night!
Apr. 30th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)
Thank you for those memories! I'd forgotten all about that silly bat. What a lovely night of star-watching that was. Getting there was half the fun, but being there with dear friends under that magic sky was awesome.
Apr. 29th, 2007 09:17 am (UTC)
That is amazingly beautiful. Whatever spirituality I have left in me happens right. there.
Apr. 30th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)
Yes! Thank you. I'll keep sharing these as I find beatiful, evocative images. I can't promise to keep sharing the stories, but now you'll know the subtext, what they mean to me.
Apr. 29th, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
Very nice. Astronomy has always been a passing interest of mine, not the intense love affair you've experienced, but reading your words reminded me of my interest. (One of my favorite college courses was Intro to Astronomy at the University of Iowa, including lectures by James Van Allen himself, a very accessible gentleman.) Today my partner M. is more into astromomy than I, but alas, Adult Life has kept both of us away from it too often.

Is your home in the country and/or do you have a favorite stargazing spot nearby? Omaha isn't far from Lawrence and perhaps someday you could arrange a stargazing party. Not only that, but I'd finally get to meet you! (That is, if you're willing to publicly share your love affair. That may be illegal in Kansas...)
Apr. 30th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC)
Wow, that's wonderful that you met him! How exciting.

Yes, adult life drags us away from indulging our passions. That seems absurd now that I think of it. I mean, what's the point of doing adult stuff like work and responsible things if we do not do the things that make us feel alive? Even though it's a gorgeous clear night lit with an almost-full Moon, I was about to get back to grading. But thanks to you, I'm instead going outside for some quality time with our lady Luna.
Apr. 30th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
Glad to improve your night. :) If your students complain, just send them to me.
Apr. 30th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
I greatly appreciate the pictures you share, and now that I have an inkling of the motivation behind them, I'll appreciate them even more. Thanks.
Apr. 30th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
Glad that you like both aspects of these posts. I'll keep at 'em!
Apr. 30th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
That is The Loveliest Post I've ever read of yours.
Well, maybe one other.
But really.
Apr. 30th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm not very shy about my feelings.
Apr. 30th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
Love the photos, thank you.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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