Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I love stars



Many thanks to Jo, Rick and Dubby, who inspired me to write about this.

Some people use family trees or organizational charts or other kinds of schematics in order to understand relationships. I love the idea of schematics of all kinds, for sure. Diagrammed sentences totally fascinate me; I am such a nerd. Geometry is, of course, a map of spatial relationships. Math of all kinds of a symbolic way to understand how everything is related to everything else. (If I had it all to do over again, I would study math with a passion.)

Word clouds are very cool ways to visually understand the relationship of an individual to her writing. I made a word cloud from this post on wordle.com. Quite revealing, very cool. I've also always been a fan of mind mapping. It is a very creative process. Speaking only for myself, I've tried taking notes at meetings using this colorful method. Though - later on when trying to write up the notes, my eyes crossed. I couldn't figure out what the heck I was trying to convey. Oh well, it was a lot more fun than taking notes in the traditional sense.

I like to think in terms of constellations. I love the way in which, in the Greek myths, the heroes are often placed in the sky as constellations. To me when more than one person or thing comes together in a way that means the whole becomes greater than a sum of its parts, even the very finest org chart or blueprint can not describe the connection.

A few years ago I did a series of paintings of the standard 88 constellations in the night sky of earth. The paintings themselves are not very interesting to look at, but the process of making the paintings was great. I had so much time, while painting, to think about how I constellate with others, with my work and the world. Using the idea of constellations offers the chance to view relationships as much more than simple connections. Constellations are mythic by their very nature, both the "real" constellations as well as the constellations I've invented to describe my relationships.

I like using the big and little dippers as the constellation that best describes my relationship to my profession. I "see" them, as they turn in the sky, pouring a healing potion back and forth, almost like the Temperance card in the tarot. Don't ask me why, but the constellation that describes the relationship among a group of tight knit friends (the "band of gypsies" as we call ourselves) is Lyra, the harp.

Some relationship constellations do not exist in astronomy books. The truth is, looking at a dark, clear sky, the eye can create all kinds of unofficial shapes. Also, sometimes constellations alone can not adequately describe relationships. For instance, I "see" the blog realm as the Milky Way, a whole galaxy of interactions, seen from within.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea, right? I am relational, almost to a fault. Well, not quite. And I like to connect the dots. So it makes sense that I constellate, on a daily basis, with people, animals and things near and far. Yes? I say yes.


Here's the constellation of Riverby Books and the Congress Market next door. On Sundays the Capitol Hillbillies play bluegrass. Folks sit around and listen. Sweet old village style constellation.

15 comments:

jinksy said...

Yes! Blogland as The Milky Way is a great notion. I'm in!

Vicki said...

I so love you Reya!!<3

Everton Terrace said...

My mother is a connect the dots person as well. I'm not sure about me, I'm always better reading other people. The cloud is in the first photo looks, to me, like a person floating head first into the dome.

steven said...

i love the interconnectedness of this world. especially as that idea has become so clear through the digital interconnectedness we use with such passion through blogworld and then also as it points to the little and the big bits of this universe and then through to all the other universes connected to this one. mindmaps - i love them and my students use them all the time. ultracool. steven

Janelle said...

i love the stars too...and bloggy land works in such strange ways...that's all i know. xxx j

Reya Mellicker said...

Janelle, you know everything.

And Steven, you, too. Actually all of you!

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow - I see the person floating into the Capitol!! That's so cool!

Amanda said...

i say yes too.......

Jo Floyd Lucas said...

What a fascinating post, Reya. I love the idea of 'connect-the-dots' constellation points, interconnecting all our relationships.

The information about Lyra...wow. "In Greek mythology, Lyra represents the lyre or harp of the musician Orpheus. It was said that when Orpheus played this instrument, neither mortal nor god could turn away."

And of Epsilon within it:

"This is the famed double-double star, which means that in binoculars it appears as a double star, but each of those stars also appears as a double in a telescope. In other words, the single point we see with the eye as Epsilon is at least four stars."

Reya, you are such a brilliant star in any constellation. Thank you for shining so brightly for all of us!

Reya Mellicker said...

Jo, you were a serious inspiration for this post - as you know! Thanks for the info on Lyra. I've looked at the constellation - especially when I painted it - and felt a joyous, raucous energy from it. Love the double double star, also the mythic reference. Totally fits the band of gypsies, yes? I say yes.

Very cool.

The Pollinatrix said...

I very much relate to what you say here. Well, except for the part about geometry; I'm more of an algebra gal myself.

Reya Mellicker said...

Polly I love algebra, too.

Val said...

yes - the blogopshere is a milky way - of course! i love stars and i love now seeing human relationships as constellations - so true and clever. thanks xx

Steve Reed said...

I've never thought of our interrelationships in that way, Reya, but they ARE like constellations.

I've always thought of constellations as a testament to the tremendous imagination of people -- that we've created "known" shapes from the vast unknown of the universe. Part of our human need to impose order on chaos!

Karen said...

And isn't it funny that we "constellated" in the blog world and then discovered we were in a constellation in "real" life? :)