Iíve tried so very hard to be inspired by the stars and it just doesnít seem to work. Pinpricks of light in the sky above me Ė what more is there to be said? It should be easy to wax lyrical about the wonders of the night sky. I should be able to rhapsodise about what I see when I turn my gaze to heaven. I canít. My words cannot do justice to the beauty of it. Wind-whipped clouds may veil the virgin Moon, but how to convey the serenity far beyond, showing her face only to be hidden by the nearer, wilder, no less glorious storm? And how to explain the shame I feel on meeting Joveís unblinking stare? And how to capture the stars, pin to paper an instant of that eternal round? I try the task and find myself wanting. I fear I have not the skill.
Easier, perhaps, to link the awesome eternity to something less threatening, closer to hand. The stars appear as fireflies on a bed of velvet black. They live and die as we do, though our lifespan is but an eyeblink in comparison. Binary stars compare with a pair of lovers, bound together for eternity and showing themselves as one. Or would it be better to restate the eternal verities with metaphors taken from above? The law of change seen in the details and in the big picture, the planets dancing and the universe expanding. The utter insignificance of insects like us on the cosmic scale. Death, everywhere: stars exploding; meteors burning away, shining only and even as they are destroyed; neighbourly comets plunging into planets, into the sun, or simply breaking up and fading away; galaxies colliding, ripping themselves apart even as they join; singularities in space and time consuming all within reach; death, surrounding and enveloping, death. And life. Destructive forces combining and merging; matter in the void, swirling, joining; mysterious, magnificent process of wondrous life.
Life. People. The glances skyward at another pink-tinged sunset; the joy at the bright golden edge of dawn; the child howling at the moon. The beauty and glory and awe of the night, as the dark wraps around you like a cloak and you glide noiseless past the locked doors and curtained windows of the God-fearing folk tucked safe abed. A paean to night will solve nothing, though, for the night is of the Earth and not of the stars. They may hide themselves behind clear blue skies, but they never leave. They hang in the infinite void of space, as we do, of them and yet not of them. Forged from materials formed in the hearts of stars and set into a fragile balance, our apparent uniqueness is the only thing that can save us from being overwhelmed by the might and majesty of immense space.
The passion of inspiration is a gift the stars will not give me; but I am more than content with the benison they do grant. My eyes lift to the heavens; and my soul sinks into an ocean of tranquillity. The fire I seek is outwith my reach; but the silver light of ice will give me peace.