Stellar Connections

My dad was born in May, 1942 and died in January, 2007. He died relatively young and I have been thinking about him quite a bit the last few weeks. Who really knows why? I figured I’d take a moment and share something I wrote in his honor and in an attempt to describe how and why I am interested in stars constellations and other points of light…

I look forward to clear spring evenings. It is on these lovely evenings that I often go out a look up into the night sky. I have a deep-seated attraction for all things stellar. I never wanted to be an astronaut, but looking through a telescope makes me feel happy. The universe is amazing in its expansiveness, but it’s also lovely.

I think my father, despite his shortcomings, saw this interest within me before anyone else did. I have a few vivid memories of dad, and most of them involve being outside on a clear night and looking up. I think that is one thing I could attribute to my dad… he encouraged me to look up. He modeled being a dreamer and as such, encouraged me to have my “head in the clouds”. I think I have done a good job of that. I dream even when I am awake.

It often amazes me that the universe provides us with direction, location and the security of being able to determine where we are at any given moment. No tools, no apps, no gizmos… just eyes and a clear sky. the universe contains all the information we need to know exactly where we are at any time based on the position of the stars. I also think of stars like windows to another place. Rigel is my father’s star.

Rigel is the bright star that is on the heel of the Orion constellation. It is a very bright star. It is blueish white and is one of the first stars that can be seen in the constellation on a bright night. I attributed it to my dad in order that when I am looking up I always have something reminding me of him in the night sky.

I’ve learned just a bit about stars and constellations. I am no astronomer. My motivation has been to create a metaphysical connection to the people I love, over distances and through time. The thing about stars is, they don’t fade. They are constant and predictable. They are unlike any other object in the universe. They are beautiful. They are where my heart goes when I feel lonely, because in the stars I can feel a connection to the ones I love, no matter where I might be.

My dad liked the stars. I remember that about him. On a cold night on the roof of the hospital… he’d point out bright points… just for the love of light.