Sunday, April 28, 2013

Stars are overrated!

Helix Nebula
Credit: NASA, NOAO, ESA, the Hubble Helix Nebula Team, M. Meixner (STScI), and T.A. Rector (NRAO).

After a childhood spent gazing at them, way more than any other 13 year old had the patience to, I had a deep appreciation of their power to amaze and mystify. I already knew at that age how their light was old and wise for it had travelled far through the hidden recesses of the universe. I knew from experience how their magic could entice me to waste uncounted hours staring at the abyss of night – at a sky that was splattered with those tiny specs of stupefaction from horizon to horizon. Yet for all the private, silent conversations I have had with them lying on a rooftop gazing at the uncounted balls of fissioning gas, I do not understand the poets’ fascination with them. Of course I have let many a feast go cold to my mother’s utter annoyance; enticed by the silence of night and the stillness of the starlit sky than by sumptuous spreads on the dinner table. But now I wonder, even though I have followed the clich├ęd example of bygone poets, how could I ever compare her eyes to all the starlight in the Milky Way? Those eyes have changed me forever because now when I gaze into the night sky, I notice not the stars but the vast and engulfing emptiness of the universe that I cohabit with these mysterious eyes that fill my own emptiness with their gaze. The stars still look on from their deep recesses in the Universe, but they seem ordinary and commonplace, unlike when she looks at me, and our eyes meet, making my heart explode and my blood fission, setting off a chain reaction...

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