[I was asked last night why I find such enchantment among the stars. I couldn’t answer–that is a thing I have never tried to put to words before. I’ve tried to respond to the question here, in some small and unsatisfactory way. My faltering words cannot do the most beautiful work of God justice. Not by a long shot. I have written, and it is not enough, and it is not everything, but it is at least a piece of what I find in Deep Heaven. Excuse or embrace the many references to The Space Trilogy and Tolkien–they have given me voice, and it is in large part to them that I turn in thanks for helping me to see the stars. Also, I suppose this is sort of an apology post for being utterly silent here for three months. I’m not dead, I promise. I am simply stopped for a while to look at the stars.]
In the gloaming, as day turns its shining face away and dusk slides in, as the clouds change to gossamer and finest half-transparencies, you see the first star appear. Ah, Perelandra! You’ll make a wish on that spark of hope and euchatastrophe. Beyond this dark, beyond the cloud-wrack piling high and thick and fast, you also can see light that cannot be reached by the passing shadow of this bent and silent world.
Out your bedroom window, you can see the galaxy. It stretches, faint, a shimmer of impossibilities and spilled stardust, across the whole of the sky. It covers over this land you call your own, rolled out above roofline and meadow, river and mountain. A pavement through Deep Heaven, stretching with the ache of perfect joy before the feet of God Himself. When the moon is young, or before it crests the horizon, when the sky and land are dark and all the heavens spangled with a thousand pinpricks of light, then you see it. This galaxy, that is so much bigger than you. That rips into your breast and through your heart and away, and leaves you so full, and so utterly empty. This galaxy is a miracle, and it shines in the sky over your house and casts shadows through your bedroom window. You catch its light on your upturned face, and this dead weariness of your one, split-second, infinitesimal day has no significance anymore.
You lay on your back in the grass at midnight. The fire has died, and it is cold, and the night dew seeps through your sweater, and you are content. Or perhaps it is not so late, and the moon is rising, and the wooden slats of the garden bench dig into the space between your shoulderblades as you lie back, and you are happier than you have ever been. The sky is alive–not hungry nor empty, not asking anything of you, not condemning nor measuring. Just there. Huge and smotheringly brilliant and the most familiar thing you know. Nearer, somehow, than even the Mountains are. You tilt your head back, feel the grass tickling your neck, hear the wings of moths and the invisibility of leathery flight circling after them, look at the stars. Everything you know is insignificant beside this sudden realization that these constellations you see are the same. The same as they were last summer, last year. Last century. The stars have shone out of the darkness since the Fourth Day, and they will not fall until the Last, and the Sixth Seal. They are not eternal, and yet they are forever. When you look up, you see them soar, wheeling slow, the Great Dance, cast wide and long and deep. You cannot tell if the movement you see is shooting stars, so far off, or fireflies, skimming a foot above your own face. All of Deep Heaven has broken through to the Silent Planet, has come to earth in the fireflies. You count the shooting stars, one, three, four, in a half hour, and you make the same wish upon each one. Oh may this never cease.