Thursday, January 6, 2011

Starry sky

This is entry five. And it looks like I have already broken my New Year's resolution. But I maintain I haven't. The resolution was supposed to improve my writing skills and help me get a handle on my life. If it is getting in the way of life then I may not post it. I don't find that particularly objectionable. I will write everyday I can and I will post 365 of these guys, but I will not let it stop me from living.

Last night I took a hot tub with Ciera. It must have been about 20 degrees out. The hot tub was a toasty 102 and the sky was so clear. We watched bright points of light populate the sky. Everything was especially clear and wonderful. The sky was black, the stars were clear and penetrating. We sat and talked quietly. Star visibility is great at my house; only the wilderness has ever given me a better look at them.

I love watching planes leave contrails at dusk. It is especially beautiful if it happens just at the edge of visibility. The contrail is a barely illuminated silver line bisecting the sky. The moon is a sliver. A tiny curve resting on the mountains' edges. The line makes its way to the moon and night descends rapidly. By the time the contrail has touched the peeking wink of the moon, night has officially begun. No more day. It slips away.

The time that straddles two days is darkness. Why do we define the beginning and end of a day by several hours of night? Why not start in the middle? At a time when there is always light?

I suppose it's not that important really. I think it is important that everyone has access to the night. Our society appears to be almost fearful of it. We have street lights that black out everything but the moon, we have smog that obscures the sky even on a clear night, we are extraordinarily fearful of the night time. Sure there can be safety concerns in big cities but surely there is a better way to deal with it than to hide the night from us. Electricity, the extension of a day to the inside, has killed the stars in the sky.