Saturday, July 18, 2009

Arbiters of Fate

[Start disclaimer... This is a really weird one ...End disclaimer]

One of the things I'm really looking forward to seeing, while at Lake Tahoe, are stars. A serious drawback to being an urban dweller is that the night sky, even when fantastically clear, is opaque, a sickly pink (from all the streetlights) without a lot of detail. I can almost always see the moon, Venus and maybe a couple of other planets, but stars? At least here on Capitol Hill, even on the clearest nights, I can only see five to ten stars.

In lieu of direct contact, I read about them, look at the Astronomy Picture of the Day website (religiously), watch for pics and descriptions of them on other blogs. I read astrological charts, astronomy books and magazines. I make constellation paintings, draw constellations in my personal journal. I love the old books of sky illustrations - people used to see so much just by gazing at the night sky. Wow.

Perhaps I shouldn't admit that I talk to the stars all the time. I talk to them because I believe that starlight is in some way exactly the same substance as destiny. Please don't ask me what I mean by that; I'm not sure. The patterns of stars in the sky, the way that the starry sky holds all of of time from the Big Bang onwards (depending on what you're looking at) leads me to believe that those fiery suns out there shine with mystery and history, creation and destruction, in other words: destiny. The great artist Hiroshige worshiped the Pole Star. I really get that; it makes perfect sense to me.

Probably I'm not the first star worshiper to imagine that the stars have administrative assistants, scholar-bureaucrats who handle the complexities of destiny. Surely there must be a lot of administrative "paperwork" involved in making the fateful connections between stars and people. In my mind's eye what I "see" are stellar switchboard operators working hard to make sure we stay connected with our personal destinies. I call these beings the Star Mandarins and I think they sometimes swoop down close to the surface here, perhaps to have a closer look at the objects of their work, including you and me. When I see clouds like the ones in these pictures, I always wonder if the Star Mandarins are nearby.

This summer there have been a lot of these odd clouds, coming out of the nowhere, set against a very different overcast texture. They bring a distinct resonance with them. When they dissipate, the resonance also disappears. I keep reading that this year in particular, polar mesospheric clouds have been forming in abundance. The appearance of noctilucent clouds is, according to the cosmology of Reya, always connected with the approach of the Star Mandarins.

So you see I can not wait to sit out on a deck somewhere up at Tahoe, and look up into the bowl of the sky, drink in the beauty of a dark sky spangled with stars. It'll be so nice to actually see my dear friends, the Arbiters of Fate, wheeling slowly around the Pole Star as I watch. I can't wait!


Elizabeth said...

Our daughter has just started working at the Maritime Museum at Greenwich, England as in GMT (Greenwich mean time).
They have an observatory to look at stars and stuff.
I will have to learn to understand it.
Have a super time at Lake Tahoe.
Yes NY rather too busy at the moment.

Cyndy said...

A great thing about the stars out west is that they seem so much closer and there are so many more of them that there's an actual texture there created by the variations in brightness and size. I hope you'll have many clear nights out there in Tahoe!

mary said...

Have a great vacation ! The city is wonderful but Tahoe is healing. I lived there too - when were you there?

And of course, the stars ARE closer when you're in the mountains. This is going to be so wonderful for you....I just know it.

hey - will you be there for the meteor shower?

John Hayes said...

One of the great joys of country living for sure is being able to look into a night sky full of stars. I also know light pollution firsthand from my days in San Francisco (one of the few drawbacks to that great city).

Cynthia said...

We see a lot of stars in Puerto Rico once you get away from the city. Most lights are amber color to not intrude on the night sky view. We have the largest telescope in the US here because it's so close to the equator, which is why the movie "Contact" was filmed here. I know what you mean about the sky and needing to see space. Have a lovely time star-gazing in Lake Tahoe, Reya. <3

Joanne said...

I feel the same way when I'm at the beach, looking at the endless star-filled sky over Long Island Sound. The dimension of the sky, the light, just miraculous. And don't forget, make a wish on the first one you see!

steven said...

hi reya, starlight . . . shining all the time behind the blue and the clouds . . . we're all made of the same stuff, all connected. from the littlest bit of a hydrogen atom burning inside one of those far-away stars to the bit of dust inside one water molecule passing overhead as i take its photograph.
i read david bohm's thinking. a clever, spiritually insightful quantum physicist. here's what he says: "everybody has seen an image of enfoldment: you fold up a sheet of paper, turn it into a small packet, make cuts in it, and then unfold it into a pattern. the parts that were close in the cuts unfold to be far away. this is like what happens in a hologram. enfoldment is really very common in our experience. all the light in this room comes in so that the entire room is in effect folded into each part. if your eye looks, the light will be then unfolded by your eye and brain. as you look through a telescope or a camera, the whole universe of space and time is enfolded into each part, and that is unfolded to the eye."
the whole in each little part and connected ... by love i might add.
hmmmm maybe i should have put a disclaimer on my comment!!! have a peaceful day. steven

Anonymous said...

Hi Reya! I can see what you mean about the starlight. I often forget how lucky I am that I can see all the stars in the sky. When I'm out at night, I look up and really appreciate them, but never assume I won't see them again. Thanks Reya, I must go out and stargaze more's magical actually!

Anonymous said...

astronomy picture of the day is the first page that opens up on my computer. That's how I start the day, even though I get to see the stars in 'real time' over here.

While the way I explain things to myself isn't anything like your explanation, I have no problem with that all. As a matter of fact, I can imagine your Star Mandarins as a great teaching tale.

As I just happened to receive a gift of Chinese tea with the drawing of a man on it, I can even visualize one of the admin staff - sort of. :-)

Have a great weekend, Reya.

Meri said...

I live in a small town far enough from Seattle that the clear night sky is carpeted with stars that seem so close that you could touch them. That last "take the dog out to do her thing" venture before bed always evokes unmitigated awe. . . at the stars anyways.

Meri said...

Anyways? What am I, a character from West Side Story? A linguistic hick? At any rate, I forgot to write the lyrics that occurred to me: "We are stardust, we are golden. . ." from the Woodstock days.

Peaches said...

I love the idea of Star Mandarins and the link between stars and our destiny. Peaceful star gazing to you.

Tom said...

It's all so big...the clouds, the mountains, the universe...but we're all a part of it, all equal at a subatomic's that work?
Anyway, very jelous of your trip, but well deserved. Enjoy.

Reya Mellicker said...

Steven that is SO COOL. Wow.

Thanks JoAnne, I will make a wish, definitely!

Mary I'll be there the last weekend of August. SO looking forward to it. I think the Leonids are earlier in the month, I think anyway.

Reya Mellicker said...

Astronomers are blaming global warmin for the increase in noctilucent clouds - I'm skeptical. Global warming, cigarette smoking, and being overweight are blamed for just about everything at the moment. Nope. I think the Star Mandarins are really checking us out this year.

As for how they "look" - at least in my mind's eye - not like humans at all. In fact I get the idea that they find us pretty disgusting, physically, that is. We're so fleshy, don't you know? I believe they feel about us the way I feel about deep sea creatures who seem impossibly bizarre to me as a land dweller.

See? I think about weird stuff like this all the time.

Barbara Martin said...

Reya, you do not think about wierd stuff, but stuff that is incredibly interesting.

I used to live two hours out of Toronto and see the stars every night when the sky was clear. I miss that.

Oh, you are going to enjoy Lake Tahoe and the star lit nights.

lakeviewer said...

May you get to see many stars and feel close to them. We are all made of star-dust. They may be destiny to you; they are our history to me.

Nancy said...

One of the things I've read in The Intention Experiment is something called Entanglement Theory. Wherein all the light atoms from distant stars that travel to earth (even taking so long that the star is dead) is entangled with all the atoms along the way. Once entangled they remember each other. I'm not sure what this has do with what you are talking about - but it just reminded me somehow of the Star Mandarins.

Tahoe is healing - I can vouch for that!

Reya Mellicker said...

Destiny, history - what's the difference?

I KNOW Tahoe is healing, Nancy. I have a pic of Emerald Bay on my desktop right now. I just keep gazing at it. Wow.

I'm sure entanglement and enfoldment play major roles in what the Star Mandarins do. Bless their stellar hearts.

G said...

My gawd! You are complicated. I was thinking that if we ever had dinner together you'd be yawning before we finished the appetizers.
That said, I find my place in this magical mystery tour so confusing, I have all but given up trying to make sense of it. So I enjoy stars and fireflies and boxing. The latter is so black and white that my east-ended brain can gather meaning in the simplistic battle of person vs person.
I like your blog. I love dogs, as well, so I know how much it must have hurt to lose such a friend.

karen said...

Hi Reya, stars are eternally fascinating, indeed. We are lucky enough to have wonderful starviewing where we live. I've been catching up on all your older posts and pictures, too. although I haven't been involved in blogging for a few weeks now, you've still been in my thoughts... hope you're having a great weekend x

lettuce said...

yeah, kind of weird but I liked it

I wonder where that little cloud is hurrying off to?

Reya Mellicker said...

G: My blog is complicated. It is a sauce reduction of all the things I've been thinking about for many many many years. When you're older like I am, you've had decades to ponder. Put all those thoughts in a La Crueset, boil until reduced by half, then write a blogpost.

Me? Not so complex. Really.

California Girl said...

We live in the White Mountains, atop a small mountain, and my husband goes out the side door every night to gaze at the stars. Sometimes I go with him and it is amazing. One does forget the majesty of the sky until you can see the stars without interference.

Jeninacide said...

This was a wonderful post! Makes perfect sense to me as well. :o)