"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Friday, May 14, 2004
kin-dle Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, probably modification of Old Norse kynda; akin to Old High German cuntesal fire
1 : to start (a fire) burning : LIGHT
2 a : to stir up : AROUSE [kindle interest] b : to bring into being : START
3 : having all your senses perk up at a discovery
Last night, it flew so close I could see it.
I mean, just barely, but there it was right over the neighbor's home.
Bright. Piercing, even.
I was looking, for the first time in my life, at the International Space Station, and it was beautiful. It serenely glided through the night, slowly crossing the sky, a pinpoint of light so bright it almost hurt to look at it. It was brighter than anything in the sky, even Jupiter.
I could not believe that all around me the city went on with its evening bustle and dreams, unaware that such a wonder was right there, up in the sky.
I wondered, looking at a mass of metal with people inside 250 miles up in the air, were they looking back? How astonishing that I could even see it, just a few times bigger than a semi truck, and all that distance away.
I remember the first time I ever saw Saturn through a telescope. I was in Florida, and was using a very small scope that my son had. When I focused in, it blew my socks off.
Later, when I was able to purchase a larger scope for myself, every dollar of the price was well worth it. Now I could not only see planets, but nebula, star clusters, other galaxies...
All from one little spark, seeing Saturn's rings.
Up there, was another spark, I thought. Maybe someone is looking at the ISS right now, and they are feeling that rush of discovery that will lead to a lifetime of wonder.
I hope so.
(Note: If you want to try it yourself, you can get a list of the best times to look for the ISS and other space vehicles from the comfort of your yard at NASA's HumanSpaceFlight site. You'll be amazed at how many chances you have. Enjoy!)
When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either.