Dark Skies and Serenity


As we’re semi-rural there are no street lights, however, occupied houses do have an outside light provided by the council. Ours is about 6 metres away from our front door, it gives just enough light to stop you tripping over in the lane, other than that we have very little light pollution, so we almost get what astronomers call, Dark Skies. Now I know very little about astronomy, I can just about pick out the Plough and hazard a guess that the very bright star is Sirius. In truth I’ve never really given much thought to what’s up there in the night sky. I did once find it odd looking up at a different layout of stars while I was working in New Zealand, but that’s about the sum total of my interest in the sky at night.

Tonight the sky is clear, no clouds obscure the stars and as Fond Affections from, This Mortal Coil’s debut album, It’ll End in Tears plays, I sit outside. Maybe it’s the majesty of the heavens or the wine, but tonight I’m finding it quite relaxing to just look up. There are no shooting stars or unidentified objects up there, just little blobs of light that scientists tell us have travelled far too many years to comprehend to get here. What happens when the light has no where else to go, is it snuffed out? I put the question out of my head and as if planned Antony and the Johnsons start to play, Soft Black Stars, their cover of the song originally recorded by Current’ 93. Antony Hegarty’s plaintive voice  spills outside, his trembling vibrato complimenting the stillness of the evening.

I could go on about how this feeling of contentment could only have happened here in Italy, but I wont, as that would just be nonsense. It’s just a classic case of time and place creating an emotional response. Would I have looked up and felt this serene had the iPod shuffled and Professor Green or Fall Out Boy played, probably not, so I let the song wash over me, sip my wine and watch the twinkling up above me.

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