Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stars in the sky

When you live in New York City you forget what the sky is supposed to look like. A dark, rosey smudge seems to be the status quo for that space above your head. You rarely see any stars, certainly not in any quantity, and if the moon is out, you'll be lucky to see it for a few minutes before it ducks behind a building.

And scale... well, the concept of big sky does NOT exist here. Small sky... no... Minor sky, seems to be the word for it. There's just no place to be reminded of how big the sky is, unless you're on a rooftop which most of us aren't on a regular basis. We spend our time either tucked into buildings or ducking through concrete canyons. Maybe the minor sky syndrome is one more reason why New Yorkers are so fascinated with their feet. It's not just about avoiding eye contact, we just don't want to be reminded of how enclosed we are.

On my trip to Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley to be specific, I was enthralled to reacquaint myself with that luscious, sparkling dome. There was one night where the storm clouds had rolled off to the side and the stars glittered through the remaining humidity. The water still in the air seemed to add extra facets to each twinkling dot. And best of all... there were no buildings in the way. Just an inky, sequined ceiling that seemed to stretch and stretch and stretch.

No comments: