For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. – Carl Sagan
I have a lover who stargazes with me.
We began our journey under a crescent moon, and stumbled our way to the full, in a pool beneath the night sky. Ever since those first encounters, we’ve been wandering in an ocean of magical light and energy, marveling at stardust, enthralled by the moon in all her prowess. He gazes at me, as I breathe in the night, and he turns his face to the heavens, squeezes my fingers in his, as the wonder of eternity unfolds before us. He believes we are made of star-stuff, and inhales that vastness with me. He and I are similar, in this view of the universe. I knew it the moment I listened to the first song he sent me. “A Thousand Years” by Sting very much took my breath.
This love we share is full of mystery, galaxies unfolding in my head. He is a musician, an artist, a bohemian spirit with his own unique way of thinking, loving, living. I am a poet girl, artist, barefoot gypsy dreamer. We are like a window opening on the great wide expanse that is the night sky, and when I think I’m beginning to understand, the world tilts, the moon slips behind a cloud, and the window closes. The more we unwind, the more mystery I find.
From the first time we met, there has been this resonance between us. He reminds me, more than ever, to turn my face upward, and note what small creatures we truly are. Still, to be so small, we are not insignificant. We have power, and influence, as the tiniest pebble upon the surface of an ocean. We create ripples, we have energy, we make a difference. We make art, music, poetry, and love.
This week, I found again a favorite poem by Rainer Maria Rilke:
Overflowing heavens of squandered stars
flame brilliantly above your troubles. Instead
of into your pillows, weep up toward them.
There, at the already weeping, at the ending visage,
slowly thinning out, ravishing
worldspace begins. Who will interrupt,
once you force your way there,
the current? No one. You may panic,
and fight that overwhelming course of stars
that streams toward you. Breathe.
Breathe the darkness of the earth and again
look up! Again. Lightly and facelessly
depths lean toward you from above. The serene
countenance dissolved in night makes room for you.
–Rainer Maria Rilke, Paris, April 1913,
from _Uncollected poems_ selected and translated
by Edward Snow New York : North Point Press, 1996
The very idea that the overwhelming vastness of space — those depths lean in, making room for our gaze, our face, our presence — this is the wonder that takes my breath and prompts me to reach for his hand.