I have another cheesy “writitude” blog post scheduled for Thanksgiving tomorrow. So I’m using today to say what I’m thankful for, and that’s looking into a starry night’s sky.
Surprised it wasn’t being an editor or running Innovative Editing, the #1 best company to work for? Just wait…
I’ve always liked looking up into a starry night’s sky. Then again, who doesn’t? There’s something serene and exciting, comforting and humbling about it all at the same time. I know the best editors out there would be quick to point out how that last statement doesn’t make logical sense. Something can’t be itself and its opposite at the same time.
And normally, I’d agree with that premise. But a starry night’s sky doesn’t fit within our nice and neat editorial rules. It’s got a much more powerful ruler to follow, so it can defy any expectation we throw at it, even so-called scientific ones.
Science used to say that the stars revolved around us, and with good, logical, scientific rationale. Yet they don’t.
Science used to say that our galaxy and the Universe were one and the same. Yet they’re not.
And science used to predict that Venus was a vibrant rainforest. Yet all of our logical understandings and analyses proved unbelievably wrong once again – as I was vividly and engagingly reminded of working for Home School Astronomy this last month or so.
As such, don’t let anyone else tell you differently, whether scientist or editor. A starry-night sky most definitely can be serene and exciting, comforting and humbling at the same time.
Serene because staring at it can bring about such a sense of quiet and peace from our puny little perspectives down here on Earth
Exciting because of the vast and seemingly infinite possibilities it holds: further space exploration and accomplishments, gold and glory… and yes, tons of writing opportunities, particularly for science and sci-fi writers
Comforting because it shows us that light still does exist even when it looks like our Sun has deserted us
Humbling because it’s a constant reminder that we’re not as big as we like to think we are. Even when we thought the stars were much smaller and much closer than they actually are, it was still obvious that there was something above us – something we can’t fully grasp on our own, no matter how hard we try.
Of course, that humbling aspect is part of what makes it comforting. We don’t need to know everything and do everything in order for the world to turn and the galaxies to travel. Which, incidentally, is also something I’m thankful for.
And that serene quality we enjoy so much actually adds to a starry-night’s exciting appeal. Can it honestly be that quiet? That still? That calm?
Turns out, it’s not. That's another detail I learned and relearned over the last several weeks: all about how not quiet, still and calm the Universe really is not.
Along with those fascinating facts, Home School Astronomy also provides presentations about how far away the stars really are, how diverse they are and how incomprehensibly big they can be.
Our Sun, for example, is a star that’s 864,938 miles wide. 864,938 miles! But it’s hardly the biggest, baddest thing in the Universe. Not even close.
All of that phenomenal, epic information went through my head on Sunday night when I got home under a starry night’s sky. Gazing up at it for long and beautiful minutes, my head swirled with so many thoughts and emotions, some of them editorially contradicting and some of them scientifically impossible by our current definition of science.
It was too worthwhile an experience to not be thankful for, editorial existence and all.