Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Star Experiment

Try this:

On a warm and clear summer night, find a large open space where you can lie down and look up at the twinkling sky. Find a dark place, void of light, aside from the glowing objects above. A mountain top, a hill top, an open field....a place where there is nothing obstructing your view of the open sky.

Lie on your back and let yourself feel how small you are. A tiny dot, stuck to a tiny planet underneath the infinitely expansive universe above you. Forget that the stars are massive explosive globes of fire. Right now, they are peaceful shimmering lights, playfully winking at you as you settle into the ground.

Now slowly concentrate... begin to imagine that the stars are no longer above you.... but below you.
Feel gravity pulling you upwards toward the earth as you look down upon the deep abyss below. What if gravity momentarily lost its hold on you? You would fall, endlessly into the vast openness of space forever, watching streaks of starlight whiz past you.
This time, you are the falling star.

A slight shift in perspective can turn your whole universe upside down.


  1. Oh, this sounds cool. I'm a big star-watcher, and counter of satellites as they go over. Usually I lay in the hammock & just feel all floaty anyway, so this little experiment of yours ought to be pretty wonderful. Can't wait!

    :) Debi

  2. well, this sounds amazing, and yet has perfect sense...
    as i love stargazing, i might try it one of these days... :)

  3. I love the stars. I miss them whenever I live in a built-up place with too many lights, but I would try this as soon as I get a chance.
    I agree with you- it makes a person feel humble to think about the size of the planet we are on, and how insignificant that is in the larger scheme of things. The universe is too big for us to be so arrogant about human life.
    This was really beautiful, but I've come to expect no less from you ;)

  4. Cool! Are these your photographs? They are amazing. What camera do you use?

  5. I wish I had read this challenge before I spent the weekend camping on Saltspring. There were so many stars out and I spent a lot of time looking up at them. Oh well, I can still do it and I will. Perhaps I will go up Bear Hill.

    You realize, of course, that if gravity does momentarily lose it's hold on me, I'm blaming you.

  6. jaime--that is fantastic and positively transported me to a time when i did just that, lying in a field on a summer night in south dakota. you might just have inspired me to write a blog posting about it (but i promise to credit you).

    how DO you get those flowers to pose for you like that?

  7. What a gorgeous idea! I am so doing that soon :-)


  8. Oh, I have tried almost the same thing before, and yes, it is incredible...but thanks for reminding me to try it again. :)


  9. honestly, I don't know how you do it but your words always bring tears to my eyes, this post especially. I resonate with this post a lot because I have had moments of awareness like that, where I feel that incredible sense of smallness and even connectedness to everything.

    I've imagined stars from both those perspectives :) and I've often thought about how I'm on a sphere and space is all around me, and that I am actually in space right now in this moment; hanging off the edge of this planet. These moments are powerful and leave me feeling vulnerable yet amazed and humble.

    This... "watching streaks of starlight whiz past you.
    This time, you are the falling star." is so so beautiful.

  10. it's like a guided imagery! 'journey to your inner starscape'. always the thoughtful post jamie. this is one to think i wandered along i got as far as the loss of gravity and my eyes flew open with a fright! i wouldn't like that feeling at all...but the point is to be daring in life isn't it?
    another lovely photograph my dear :)

  11. That small shift comes from a large mind and heart.

  12. How magical!!!
    A few minutes ago I wrote to a friend things are changing in our life like stars falling through the sky... and we are the stars...:-)

    so we are.

    Love you! Happy that you are a star too! :) xx

  13. this is a wonderful idea. On 'Winter' nights (which is few and far between here in the Caribbean) we sit in the jacuzzi and look at the stars. I will try that then.
    I love your blog.

  14. lucky day to have found your blog!!! Beautiful! And your photos are stunning!!! I would love to use some in my posts!

  15. This is one of your best, Jaime, the last line, more spectacular than all those twinkling stars combined, bringing it all right down to earth and our own lives (which is what really matters anyway).

    My favorite theory of all times is how our world consists of tiny atoms, making molecules, bouncing around separated by lots of space, but creating little galaxies that look like hands and feet, puppie dogs and cement trucks; so too are the stars the molecules, the Milky Way a galaxy that is but the stem of a dandilion in a much, much larger world.

    Once hearing THAT, I could wrap my hed around the concept that the Universe goes on and on and on and on and...

  16. Dear Jaime,
    I have to let u know that you beautiful words and lovely pictures can reach people so far away from you... Checking ur blog every now and then gives a soft and tender rest to my eyes and spirit. Thank you so much, u are such a blessed soul!
    Regards from sunny Brazil,

  17. Jaime,

    I've read this post five times and have yet to comment. That is because this post is so perfect that I haven't yet found the right words. I'm still searching for them. In the mean time, will you please stop by my blog?. I posted something there that I think you will like.

  18. I've been here three times now my oh so beautiful friend, and still I haven't words to share... your writing these days truly renders me speechless.
    Oh how I wish I had magic and light to sprinkle all over you... you bless me every time I'm here.

    love to you today beautiful Jaime, so much love.

  19. just so you know jamie... as much as i joke and poke fun at myself and the rest of us about being crazy bloggers you are absolutely right. in the end life is just moving too fast to keep up with all the love and passion that i have for living. how ironic is that!?!

    you are in my heart on all my adventures.. can i be in yours too? sort of like double dipping :)

  20. I read this several days ago, and I've been thinkin about it ever since...

    What a beautiful image...

    It reminds me of a scene I saw long ago in the movie 'Immortal Beloved' about Beethoven and his soul mate.

    I cant remember the exact details but theres a scene where a young Bethooven is lying in a pool of water looking up at an infinite sky full of stars... and according to the movie its where he finds inspiration for his famous ode to joy...

    Thank you for sharing this transcendant image with us...

    Winged love, Maithri

  21. That was so beautiful. I want nothing more than to feel the terrifying freedom of being a falling star. I am so impatient for darkness to come now!