20 September 2009

Cosmic order on earth

Outside tonight, I realized something about the night sky. The constellations are places where imagination has the power to trump science.

Two stars in the Summer Triangle belong to birds: Deneb of Cygnus the Swan, and Altair of Aquila the Eagle. Near the line between Deneb and Altair sits Delphinus the Dolphin.

As science well knows, dolphins are larger than eagles and swans. But in the night sky, the leaping dolphin is dwarfed by the outstretched wings and neck of a giant swan. I take comfort in this.

What science has taught us is that our species most likely gained its unique spiritual sense from a bond with the sky. Ancient cultures regarded celestial objects as gods for their dominant positions, powerful light & heat, and their repeating patterns that brought ordered change to the earth with each new day, night, or season. I wonder if we would have ever rationalized this human-sky relationship without science, but it's too late for that speculation. We've already dug the excavation sites and done the other detailed anthropological guess-work that brought us this far.

Nonetheless, it does not take much personal awakening to see that most of us have (or still do) share a spiritual connection with the sky in one form or another. And so in an effort to better my own spirituality, I humbly wish to share a revised poem that I sent out a couple places earlier this year. It's called "Someday at the Zoo" and it's ready to read on my creative writing blog, zimdog pnaws. I've been searching for reasons to post more work there. Now it seems the spirituality of the night sky has given me as good a reason as any.

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