Is there anybody out there?
Always a fan of the Night Sky, growing up at the feet of NASA in Florida, I love to look up!
When this world starts feeling like too much, I often turn to the Night Sky. What does she have to teach me? I ponder my small being, a speck in the spectrum of infinite time. My personal problems virtually vanish. The world’s problems, however - while they may occur in the blink of an eye, matter mightily. If we are indeed stardust, then we are absolutely part of this big universal web. If time goes forward and backward, then absolutely everything matters.
Like Pink Floyd’s summon in Dark Side of the Moon, I sometimes wonder “Is there anybody out there?”
How many cultures have revered the Night Sky? Embraced her ever-improvising movements? Been grateful for her forecasts?
Some years ago, while traveling in Turkey, I became enamored with the individual Imam calls for each mosque. Each mosque having their own cantor, calling people to prayer, perspective, and honoring of Divinity throughout the day. I delighted to also learn that historically, each mosque would have had their own astronomer/astrologer. As I understand it, they were more one and the same. This Wisdom Keeper would advise ideal times of growing crops, cutting hair, predicting war or bad weather. A Night Sky relationship.
A Star Wars fan from Day 1, I’m not sure what I love more - the star travel, or the diverse cast of characters. A universal world, albeit it in conflict. Diversity and human rights so on my mind these days, I am searching for ways to do my part, especially in the healing of racism. A daunting task, I am becoming more involved on a local level. I do what I can from the stage, but my hands and feet crave more action.
Recent years have found me singing about nature relationships; Abbey Lincoln’s “Talking to the Sun”, Lionel Hampton’s “Midnight Sun”, and Eden Ahbez’s “Nature Boy”, for instance. Kurt Weill’s “Lost in the Stars” from the play then movie, Cry, the Beloved Country is joining my repertoire. The South African racism struggle depicted here with the priest, Absalom, searching for his unjustly imprisoned son, looks to the Night Sky to guide his literal path through the desert.
As I question “Is there anybody out there?”, I know the real answer lies within. What I’m thirsting for is a deeper relationship with the Night Sky. Wishing for a savior “out there”, I dig deeper within to ask myself, “Who am I today and what is my part in this day and time?”
“Sometimes it feels like God’s gone away.” (from “Lost in the Stars”).
Yes, but she’s always right here.
Look up. Listen. Dig deep. Sing.