Sunday, December 7, 2008

Candle Cave


I took this photo of a candle because it looked like a cave of light, which in turn reminded me of Coleridge's "sunny pleasure dome all made of ice". I have been thinking also about John Dobson, the Sidewalk Astronomer. For a number of years I went to yoga retreats at the Sivananda Farm in Grass Valley and he was a regular speaker there (they have improving lectures available when you are not doing yoga or chanting). He is a ninety-three year old former vedantic monk (he at one point had to stop making telescopes in order to remain in the monastery - Giordano Bruno, anyone?) who took his DIY telesopes to the street in order to inform people about astronomy, a remarkable sense of mission which he continues with speaking engagements. In person, he has precisely the sort of presentation that I am imagine Charles Dodgson would have had - both tentative and jocular.
I have a handout from one retreat in which Dobson says "Descended as we are from [ancient marine life], we can think of ourselves, even now, as little bags of sea water, hung out on clotheslines of bone, gulping oxygen directly from the gas layer above use, and shambling out across the rocks to gaze with starry eyes, through the blackness of night, at the vast expanse of the universe beyond."

In more quotidian news, I'm working on something I will post tomorrow which I'd like a vote for black and white or color (for redbubble, of course).

6 comments:

Nao said...

Love the photo, it reminds me of a luminous Swan. And this astronomer you speak of, I am off to look him up, sounds like a fascinating sort. Going to check out to rest of your posts now too, I have missed a few days.

Morna said...

It looks like a swan. :-)

kyklops said...

The "MacGuyver of Astronomy"? I can think of no higher aspiration in life than to be known as "The MacGuyver" of something. You think I'm joking, but I'm not. Damn, that is just too cool!

Squirrel said...

the photo is amazing esp when you think of it being a melting candle and not a lit sculpture. thanks for the intro to John Dobson

Sandi McBride said...

Art in it's purest form? Yes, I think so. Congratulations on your Post of the Day mention...I'm here from David's
Sandi

Son of Incogneato said...

Great photo, fantastic quote. Puts a little perspective on mundane bitching and moaning.