“When it is darkest, men see the stars.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
– Oscar Wilde
I don’t think it’s coincidental that some of my favorite writers and thinkers have such poignant things to say about the stars. The thing I dislike most about living in the city is not being able to see the stars at night. They’re only a drive away, but it’s not the same as being able to turn off your porch light, step out your front door, and just fall under their spell.
Feeling insignificant is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Feeling your ego dissipate under the expanse of the universe is an irreplaceable experience. There have been times in my life where sitting under the stars was the only thing I could do to feel connected to this world at all. As unintuitive as that may seem.
It seems to me that to feel connected to others, you need to feel alone. It occurs to me sometimes that other people may find this thought to be highly pessimistic, but I don’t think the feeling of being alone is a negative or depressing at all.
In fact, I like the feeling.
It makes me appreciate the connections I am able to have with other people and their creative work.
As always, I find my sentiments have been already properly expressed by others. Another fact that makes me feel a beautiful wash of insignificance and much, much less alone.
“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.”
– Bill Watterson (of Calvin and Hobbes)