Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Looking for a treat?

I just finished reading Chet Raymo's book, The Night of the Soul, An Astronomical Pilgrimage.  If you are feeling tightly bound in your life, read this book, and expand out into the space of this universe we share.  

I offer a few excerpts to tease you out into the night to watch the planets and stars, and to entice you to notice the tingle in your spine.  

""Let us worship the spine and its tingle," Vladimir Nabokov advised students in his lectures on literature. "That little shiver behind is quite certainly the highest form of emotion that humanity has attained when evolving pure art and pure science."  Searching for faint lights in the night sky is both an art and a science, and I count as worth a king's ransom the tingle in the spine that invariably accompanies a rare find. "We are vertebrates," said Nabokov, "tipped at the head with a divine flame." The brain is a continuation of the spine, an accretion of tissue at the top that burns with a pure blue flame, but the wick runs the whole length of the candle. The morning I saw the zodiacal light, I felt the heat of the flame all along the wick."

John Burroughs:  "To know is not all, it is only half.  To love is the other half."

"Give me the ninety-two elements and I'll give you a universe. Ubiquitous hydrogen.  Standoffish helium.  Spooky boron.  No-nonsense carbon. Promiscuous oxygen. Faithful iron. Mysterious phosphorus. Exotic xenon. Brash tin.  Slippery mercury. Heavy-footed lead. Imagine, if you will, a chemical storeroom stocked with the ninety-two elements. Pop the corks, open the valves, tip over the boxes and canisters.  Watch what happens.  What a to-do!  Energy released and absorbed. Atoms linking valencies to make molecules. Simple molecules reassembling their parts to make complex molecules. Sparks, flames, and flashes of light, a commotion of combination and alliance.  These are elements with a rage to order.  These are elements with a zest for life."

The book goes on and on with wonders of the elements, flame, poetry, love, light, night, and delight.


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