When Sue Ten told me she was going to show Hubble on the side of the Swing Barn this week, I thought she meant Robert Redford in The Way We Were. [Cue music.] I was wrong. It turns out she’s gotten access to some images from the Hubble telescope, and not just any images. Now, she’s showing the Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D images, and I am delighted on at least two separate planes of reality.
I love to look up at a starry sky, even with my soft vision, the kind that comes with a few extra streaks and blurs. If the night is dark enough, I know the stars will be there to greet me. I also know, as Annie Dillard points out, “You do not have to sit outside in the dark. If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary. But the stars neither require nor demand it.”
I guess I should really not complain about the lack of darkness here outside the Slice of Heaven 24-Hour Pie Shop and Driving Range. After all, I’ll the one who had the lights installed so I would hit golf balls all night long. Still, there are times when I wish it were darker here, just as it is after a hurricane knocks all the power out in the whole state, hospitals and jails excluded. Then we got some sky!
I remember attending a public art symposium some time ago, and I thought the best possible artwork we could create for SoFLA would be a way to really see the stars. Well, hot damn, I think Sue Ten has done it, and I just can’t wait to get settled in my lawn chair with a bag of popcorn to while the night away.
Then again, this new info from The Hubble does bring Olber’s Paradox to mind, so I’ve posted the Ferlinghetti version below the video. Take it all in, and let me know what you think.
I’ve missed you so much!
And I heard the learned astronomer
whose name was Heinrich Olbers
speaking to us across the centuries
about how he observed with naked eye
how in the sky there were
some few stars close up
and the further away he looked
the more of them there were
with infinite numbers of clusters of stars
in myriad Milky Ways & myriad nebulae
So that from this we can deduce
that in the infinite distances
there must be a place
there must be a place
where all is light
and that the light from that high place
Where all is light
simply hasn’t got here yet
which is why we still have night
But when at last that light arrives
when at last it does get here
the part of day we now call Night
will have a white sky
little black dots in it
little black holes
where once were stars
And then in that symbolic
so poetic place
which will be ours
we’ll be our own true shadows
and our own illumination
on a sunset earth