a message from above

starry night

by Alex King

There are many types of pollution in the world today, but one of the most detrimental to Astronomers is light pollution. Light generated by cities blanks the night skies. Only the brightest stars can be seen in these places. Out here, in the desert of West Texas, however, cities are nonexistent, and the veil shrouding the stars is very thin.

My first experience with the change occurred the night before last. I found myself outside at night when the sky was clear and , as is my habit, I looked up. Holy hell. Absolute beauty glimmered down upon me from countless points of light on a backdrop black as pitch. Seeming to be just out of reach, these tiny diamonds gave testament to eons passed, representing an imposing permanence. Taking my all-important life and comparing it, I was humbled.

In the far and wide, we are an egocentric race, living our entire lives stuck in our own personal universes, naive and blind. Many never live to know the magnitude of their own obscurity. Placing my life next to that of these glorious celestial bodies, it passes as the flicker of an eye, barley noticed and wholly insignificant. Having lived consumed with my own success or failure, the message I was receiving, to put it in layman’s, was that I needed to get my head out of my ass.

Leafing through historical literature, I’ve found that the individual vanishes behind legacy. A single person is impermanent and frail, soon forgotten. Only those who have impacted the human race have been immortalized. Even so, the only immortal aspect is the impact. As a person, I will die and face, quickly buried under the inexorable sands of time. My only significance is the legacy I leave behind.

Put simply, I gazed upon a breath-taking canvass and saw in it a question. In the end, will I have added my own small brushstroke, or simply watched from afar?


Groove of the Day

Listen to Don McLean performing “Vincent” (Starry Starry Night)


10 Responses to “a message from above”

  1. September 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I had found the type of beauty that you are talking about as I spent most of my life working midnight until 8AM I spent 26 years doing security work at the Frederick Memorial Hospital and then another 4 years at the Maryland Sheriff’s Youth Ranch while sleeping during the day time and doing numerous volunteer work in the evening has kept me going. Now at 65 I set back and watch the world go by. So by fighting for childrens rights along with many people that you have come to know including Lisa Alton, Donna Gallegos and Kathy Medico, I too have learned a lot more about life. Thanks for keeping the dreams alive. As far as your selection of songs it was interesting to hear Don Mcleans ‘Vincent’ again as he was well known for his American Pie song, Vincent was to me a more mellow sound……….Thanks again Alex………………..Bill

    • September 18, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      I appreciate you sharing your story, and I am glad you have had the chance to see what I can now see. At times, all we have are dreams and hope, so we hope that one day our dreams are realized.
      -Alex King

  2. 3 Steve Booth
    September 18, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    It is so neat to read your comments. While you were away My foster son(now adult) and I sailed across the Atlantic. We were 28 days between NC and the Azores. A lunar month the stars and moon were just amazing. I also think of you two being there together and while you are not stuck on a small boat I suspect you both will be going thru much of the same stuff my son and I went thru over the next few weeks. Good luck. I think what ever comes of this new adventure it can only be good for both of you. I remember reading something you wrote a number of years ago and being impressed. It is great that you are finding and using this forum. I have really enjoyed reading Dan’s Blog and contributing in my small way to his and your program. Good luck to you. Good luck to Dan and to the program and dreams you and we share. Starry night indeed. Best Steve

    • September 18, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, as well as for your kind words. I am happy to be writing these things. Perhaps my odd perspective can in some way lighten someone’s day. I have a lot of hope for this program and the dream, and I’m happy to be a part of its realization.
      -Alex King

  3. 5 Katniss
    September 18, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Lucky. It’s in my bucket list to see a night sky without light pollution. Your writing is so introspective. The flow is languid, in a way. You should write a book. But first tell us about the little daily stuff like what you had for breakfast? have you seen a bear yet? if yes, then are you writing from beyond the grave? What is your favorite constellation?

    • September 19, 2014 at 7:39 am

      Thank you for the encouragement. I eat Quaker Chewy Dipps for breakfast, usually. I have not yet seen a bear. I still need to visit the park. After such an event, I may have to write future posts from beyond the grave. My favorite constellation, at the moment, is Orion, because it is easy to identify.
      -Alex King

  4. 7 Daryl Watton
    September 19, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    You may be young, Alex, but not too young to consider starting to leave a legacy. What will that be? Have you thought about it? Made any decisions? If you think I could help, send me an email.

    • September 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you for your offer. As far as a legacy, my goal is to work here at Estrella Vista and see what good can come of this vision of Dan’s. That’s good enough for me for now. The question I end off on will be answered upon my death.
      -Alex King

  5. September 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Alex, You have discovered a path out there in the desert. The path of a writer and you have the best guide to wordsmithing in Dan ( the writer ) Dailey – ! Well done, WRITE ON !!!!

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