The Star-Splitter

“How is it they live in such harmony the billions of stars - when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds about someone they know.”

— Saint Thomas Aquinas

I have posted before about my love of astronomy and mythology and the way the two intertwine, and since moving north it has already given me a great deal of pleasure to get my geek on with my favourite iPad app (StarWalk) and watch the stars - and the man-made bits and pieces in the heavens - in their infinite variety.

As someone who is pretty much bewildered by the whole 'what happens afterwards' question, I am, I think, particularly fascinated by the stars for a very romantic reason.

Maybe, just maybe, there is something in the tales of the gods and heroes - and we do end up looking down on our loved ones from millions of miles above as a tiny part of a cosmic creation; not with the kind of consciousness we have as humans, but perhaps in some way aware of life continuing on. This to me makes as much sense as an old man with a beard letting people through a set of pearly gates, and I quite like the idea of being part of Draco, or Andromeda - or for that matter Lux Katrina.

We have watched the stars for millennia. Men have written odes to them; charted courses by them; princes have decided the fates of nations through their cold impersonal blaze. Why do they continue to fascinate us so much? If they are just large bodies of dust and gas and rock, why do they exert such an amazing pull on our hearts and minds?

I think it's because of their mystery. They are inexplicable, and whatever mankind cannot explain is always irresistible. Much like anything we cannot have, the stars have an intangible beauty - and although at times they seem close enough to reach up and pluck out of the sky, they will always remain out of reach.

This may seem like a strange thing to be grateful for, but as I was sitting outside last night and watching a satellite hum across the sky, and doing my nerdy best to absorb as much as I could about a new (to me) constellation, I realised something.

I am very grateful that the stars retain said mystery.

Because much like the things, and people, that I love most in this world - a little mystery only adds to the desire to keep learning more about them.

And my advice? Don't necessarily look with a telescope. Because the naked eye means you look a lot deeper at those celestial trailblazers.

And at the people you care about too.

Little Star.

I really do wonder what the hell you are - with a great deal of gratitude in the wondering.