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Enchanted by star dust…

Enchanted by the je ne sais quoi I like many others ‘liked’ and was somewhat enamored but the image.

MoonLevelsjpg

I’d taken the dog outside for a tiddle in the back garden at 10.30pm and the moon was resplendently erumpent in the night sky. In today’s culture we feel drawn to capture something of the moment and I had to get my camera and see what i might capture. I guess in days gone by one may have sketched a picture or written a verse but the popular habit is of course to snap a pic.

I am aware that a more wholesome habit is to savour the moment and yes i did a little savouring and a little mindful of the trees, the sounds the lights and my place in things I moved on to play with shutter speeds etc and went back inside to see what i’d snapped.

Pleasantly surprised with the image, (I took 6) I proceeded to sharpen and adjust levels and settings, i masked the ‘light’ and adjusted the background and again I was surprised but what appeared!

I guess we’re loaded with cultural baggage about stars, light, and the wonderment of the firmament? Or is it a more inherent sense we have about the night sky, the unknown? I don’t know. But I do know that my initial reaction was one of wonder and wow and some kind of appreciative je ne sais quoi. As did many others on social media; we ‘like’ and ‘favourite’ the image with a natural(?) appreciative reaction. Of course we also had the delightful references to cheese, pasties and farley’s rusks 🙂

And then the dust settled and we woke up.

It seems the ‘stars’ are perhaps digital noise from the original picture; it’s been amplified by the software. As our friend and more importantly science-writer Sophie rightly pointed out “how does the star field fill in under the moon – the stars aren’t in front of it, and you’d think the moon’s sphere would block the starlight from behind?” And she’s right.

Moon

The enchantment somewhat dampened we are left with the original picture. Still quite engaging itself it perhaps is a lesson in perception, smoke and mirrors. All is not necessarily what it seems, even if the author of the material, opinion, facts or truths means well and truly believes in ‘twinkle punk’ at the bottom of the garden, we may have been mislead somewhere along the line by noise!

I’m all for enchantment but be careful out there dudes, in space no one can hear you scream!

🙂

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I recently heard someone, a scientist, refer to what they saw as ‘awe-inspiring’.

To inspire awe? It’s a common notion, even in this age where we know how everything works and are masters of our own kingdoms. Supposedly.

An off the shelf definition: magnificent, amazing, astonishing, awesome, breathtaking, grand, impressive, majestic, mind-blowing, remarkable, stunning, wonderful…

Wikipedia quotes “Awe is an emotion comparable to wonder but less joyous… an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extreme…”

It quotes Paul Pearsall “…a sense of connection with a startling universe that is usually far beyond the narrow band of our consciousness.  …the 11th emotion, beyond those now scientifically accepted (i.e., love, fear, sadness, embarrassment, curiosity, pride, enjoyment, despair, guilt, and anger).”

Ah ’emotion’, that old chestnut.

What would the world be like without emotion?