Monday, March 09, 2009
One of the saddest things about living in Chicago -- or any city, for that matter -- and about modern life, generally, is that the cocoons we've built for ourselves make us lose track of the natural world. In Chicago, most stars you see are part of the Milky Way (as are we). But you really can't see many stars, because of the city lights, so you never see THE MILKY WAY.
I remember, too long ago, standing one night with Suellen and friends on the shore of Lake Superior's Whitefish Point, looking up at the incredible swatch of stars arcing over our heads. What a remarkable, humbling sight. It is no wonder that the ancients recognized Orion, Cassiopeia's Chair, and Andromeda. Too many people never see them.
Instead, let me introduce you to Constellation O'Hare. You can see it in the sky, looking east from the front steps of our house.
Can you see the stars, forming a diagonal from upper left to bottom right? You might need to click on the picture to expand it. Of course, those are not really stars, but are the lights of airplanes lined up to land at O'Hare Airport -- about 2 minutes between them.
In the city, we find our inspiration wherever we can.