I hope it’s okay to repost this photo– it’s from one of the users I follow on instagram, and I’ve tried to give proper citation and links back (and please– if someone knows @triglyyy or you stumble on this yourself and you’d like me to take this down, just let me know).
I have always had a distant love affair with stars– I think this is just part of the human condition. At one point I tried to teach myself the stories of stars, but the only story and constellation combination I know is the story of Perseus saving Andromeda. Some day I hope to know more, and I suspect that if I ever have children, the star-stories will be ones that I’ll selfishly try to tell so I can learn them as well.
This summer I spent a lot of evenings beneath the stars, and I want to write about those evenings and how they stretched into morning, but I’m finding it difficult. There was the night, in Squamish, that we stripped down and balanced out on logs to skinny dip in the warm lake under the Perseids. The night we saw the northern lights streaking across the Vantage sky. The night we walked into the desert shortly after sunset, covered in dark, the blanket of stars our only light. The night at Smith where the moon rose so quickly it felt alive and breathing, reaching for the zenith. I need to reclaim these evenings into my body and make them my own. I think it’s finally time to finish the tattoo on my right arm– finally commit to the constellation that marked so much. I no longer talk to the man that was beside me on that hike, who spent high noon on the top of Half Dome with me and who, when I paused in fear, talked me through it. I wonder, sometimes, if he thinks about that summer at all and all of the plans we had. I think he is happier now, without me. We always survive.
I don’t see stars often, here in the city. Sometimes pinpricks make it through, but often they are just the bright gems of Orion’s belt, or the sharp points of Cassiopeia’s crown. In the summer I make it out often enough to be star-satiated, but winter keeps me close to the city. This is one of the reasons I’ve finally decided to take up skiing– I need to be beneath a larger sky. I am so thankful for K, who sends me photos of his trips, but it isn’t the same as being out there. I dislike the cold and I’m honestly a little terrified of skiing, but it’s time to stop living through other people.