I saw Jupiter rising last evening, a fuzzy white ball in the east, and by the time I awoke and went out walking with Koko, it had moved on over to the west, its place assumed instead by a crescent moon and shiny Venus. Pleiades — or Makalii, as it’s known in these parts — was directly overhead, next to a distinctive triangular-shaped constellation that I later learned, after consulting the handy interactive feature at Astroviewer.com, is aptly named Triangle.
The night sky always gives me a little thrill, which is physically expressed as a shiver of joy when I’m out under it, looking up at it, and as I was admiring it in that special time between night and dawn, a falling star shot across the sky.
I was reading an article about Siberia the other day and the author described the night sky as so clear and brilliant there that he felt as if he was of it, and it brought to mind similar experiences I've had at Haleakala, Naue, Lanai, the slopes of Mauna Loa. And that made me think of how it must have been back in the time before light pollution took that marvelous experience out of the realm of every day. You’d just have to view the universe, and our place in it, very differently if every night you actually felt yourself a part of it.
While listening to the radio yesterday, the DJ noted that August 15 was first day of the Woodstock festival, some 40 years ago. Woodstock was a bit before my time, but of course I know the legend and have heard the trademark song written by Joni Mitchell countless times.
He played it again, as covered by a British group, and as I listened to the lyrics, I thought, gee, and in those four decades we’ve gotten closer to the garden shop than the garden, and the bomber jets have turned not into butterflies, but unmanned Predator drones.
Still, some folks haven’t given up the (alternative American) dream of getting back to nature and living lightly on the land. Do you suppose it’s too late to change the design of the Wailua Bridge into something way cool like this instead?
Meanwhile, it seems that President Obama’s influence is truly widespread, reaching folks on the very fringe of the political system. What greater tribute to the Prez than Ecstasy mimic tablets made in his image?
A friend who experiences more annoyance than ecstasy in the comments section of this blog sent along a helpful link with the comment:
Damn Weblog Pests have a handbook….
The site, named "Derailing for Dummies,” notes:
Just follow this step-by-step guide to Conversing with Marginalised People™ and in no time at all you will have a fool-proof method of derailing every challenging conversation you may get into, thus reaping the full benefits of every privilege that you have.
The best part is, you don't even have to be a white, heterosexual, cisgendered, cissexual, upper-class male to enjoy the full benefits of derailing conversation! Nope, you can utilise the lesser-recognised tactic of Horizontal Hostility to make sure that, despite being a member of a Marginalised Group™ yourself, you can exercise a privilege another Marginalised Group™ doesn't have in order not to heed their experience!
If you read the comments section, I’m sure you’ll recognize a few, including “Aren't You Treating Each Other Worse Anyway,” “Unless You Can Prove Your Experience Is Widespread I Won't Believe It” and “
I Don't Think You're As Marginalised As You Claim.” Then there’s the classic, which often comes up when the conversation turns to Hawaii’s independence: “Don't You Have More Important Issues To Think About?”
But hey, don’t let any of this, or anything else, get you down. If you ever start getting too full of angst, or yourself, just check out this youtube video. When you consider that there are over 100 billion galaxies in the universe, even the biggest problems facing humanity are pretty darn inconsequential and small. And if you believe, as I do, that it’s all energy and it’s all connected, then wow. What reason could you possibly have for holding yourself, or others, back or down when you're an integral part of this vast and beautiful universe?