It's dawning on me that while in Kansas City, I will be engaged on many levels. First and foremost, I will be submerged in the complicated energies, memories and emotions that are bound to be a part of the unveiling ceremony. In addition, I'll be connecting with many friends from many eras of my life, as well as spending lots of time with my beloved sister. This trip is going to be big. Really big. Epic, mythic.
I'm an introvert, and (as my mother used to say) "too sensitive." If I don't at least try to manage all that energy, my antennae will jam, I'll be knocked for a loop. I'll be rendered unable to function. I don't want that! I really want to rise to the occasion.
Within the galaxy of every complicated situation, there is a focal point, a pole star that - if located - can provide a point of stability, a steady place from which to survey whatever it is that's happening. I think of ballet dancers, of ice skaters who can spin around forever without getting dizzy. They know something I need to learn - asap, please.
Hence, I googled "pole star worship." Number 3 on the Google list was a post I wrote in 2009. How funny! Here is a link to the post. Apparently this idea has been floating around in the moldering depths of my brain for a number of years. I'm slow, but eventually I get around to these things.
Thanks to the nice algorithms of Google, I was able to read about ancient mariners who, in their own way, engaged in pole star worship. I also read about the practice in Taoism, as part of Japanese ancestor worship, in shamanic traditions, and in Hinduism. I love the following, taken from a book of "cradle tales" for Hindus.
For the fact that seems most deeply to have impressed the Hindu mind was not the appearance of the starry dome so much as the perfect steadiness in it of the Polar Star. Wonderful star! The only point in all the heavens that stayed unmoved, while round it came and went the busy worlds. And this stillness moreover must have characterized it from the very beginning of things. It was never for the Pole Star to learn its quietude. It came by no degrees to its proper place. Rather has it been faithful and at rest since the very birth of time. Surely in all the world of men there could be nothing like this unswerving, unerring from beginning to end, the witness of movement, itself immutable.
I love the starry dome because I love the big picture. I believe a broad understanding of anything comes via the big picture. I think the long view is most true. OK. Fine. My mistake is to think of myself as a big picture person. The big picture is way too big for me to take in all at once. I need to be anchored, a witness of movement rather than the overwhelmed shaman who is trying to dance with every part of the movement all at once. I am holistic, yes, but the big picture knocks me to the floor, time and again.
Hence I must learn to navigate the big picture by way of its pole star, whatever that is. Just as I was wondering about it yesterday, I came across this story from the New York Times, about how important it is to keep one's eyes on the ball. Yes! This is what I'm talking about.
In Kansas City, I must keep my eye on the pole star. I really want to. I wonder if I will be able to do it. Ya think?
The inside of a gigantic topaz at the Natural History Museum.