Sunday, September 05, 2010
Big Dipper keeping watch over Wingra Park
I've always sort of used the Big Dipper to get my bearings. Geographically, if you take the right edge of the ladle, extend its length upward five times in the same direction, you're at Polaris, the North Star. Emotionally, the constellation a familiar constant presence in the night sky of the Northern Hemisphere. It reconciles change with continuity as it rotates gracefully around Polaris with the turning of the seasons. Now is when it's especially low in the sky, reaching down practically to treetop level.
My eyes were too big for my stomach at the Taste of Madison last night. I came home feeling like a big lead balloon, and walked into the darkness of Wingra Park to get some fresh air and look at the stars in the clear night sky. I was struck by how serene the Big Dipper seemed, set off by the darkness of Wingra Park and the warm lights in the distance. It seemed to watch over the park like a protective presence. I walked back home to get the camera and tripod.
Sometimes when you're feeling crappy, the best thing to do is to try to make something beautiful -- or at least try to borrow some of the beauty of the universe.