Why is it that stargazing appears to be the domain of the depressed or the introspective? How often do you hear of a jolly person pondering the rotation of the stars, or imagining all the sights that the Moon above has looked upon down here below?
I sat out an hour tonight, and even saw a shooting star. My glass of wine did nothing to make matters seem more cheerful. Usually looking at beauty or feeling awe is inspiring; somehow the stars above seem to be telling me how ridiculous I am and how meaningless my problems are. That may not be a bad thing.
I spent awhile looking at the Big Dipper, trying to figure out how "Follow the Drinking Gourd" was helpful in any way to escaping slaves. How frightening to put your reliance and future hopes on something so impossibly far.
And yet, it feels like I'm doing the same thing every day. Hoping. Wishing. Imagining changes that may never take place. How many suffering through the Crusades looked at those stars, hoping their loved ones were safe? How many prisoners in Dachua looked up through the ashy skies to the stars and moon? Did they feel awe, beauty, or confusion? Was the sight a comfort and balm or a stab in the heart?