At Christmas time these can be seen everywhere, central as they are to the Christmas narrative and are iconic, simple and universal in their appeal. However the ones that have the greatest impact on me are those which leave me breathless on cold, crisp nights, numbers too countless to contemplate, creating subtle light paintings as they track across the night sky.
Having finally made a dive out of my toasty, warm sleeping bag, muttering and cross, I am often enroute to finding a suitable spot for a midnight pee when I am stopped in my tracks by the celestial panorama arching over my head.
My Billion Star Hotel is a joy! Depending on its location (geographically and seasonally) there may or may not be running water or heating and cold nights of limited comfort can often be the most beautiful and worthwhile in this regard. The vertiginous feeling when looking up at the night sky and seeing the ‘usual’ atmospheric and conceptual veils drop away, revealing the depths of the universe stretching back and back and back … stars stacked out layer upon layer upon (seemingly) infinite layer … is all the most disconcerting for dropping the realisation of my tiny, tiny place in this unfathomable expanse, squarely in my vulnerable, egocentric lap.
High mountain Passes, vast stony Steppes and seeing the breadth of the Cosmos all compress the concept of the (near) infinite into the space in front of my naked eyes. Occasions for me to marvel at the concepts of spinning worlds, expanding and contracting galaxies, Time and the beauty I see around me without having to understand it …
All seen and felt in a fleeting moment as I rush from one place to another, partially distracted by the needs of a full bladder and the physical reactions resultant from the cold …
Imagine my thoughts if I took more time to sit and really be part of the whole that is playing out in front of me. The more consciousness, the more capacity for appreciating the subtle changes that occur moment to moment, the ability to ‘feel’ the passing of time, the greater the appreciation, the wider opportunity for gratitude to see/feel these things and the chance for a deeper connection which goes beyond words and which links me to everything around me!
For Samantha, Julian, Sebastian, Fraser and Claudia