Saturday, April 24, 2010

the roiling dust and gas up in my head

Google pays tribute today (via its name-logo on the home page) to the 20th Anniversary of Hubble Telescope Launch by NASA. Since Hubble is one of my favorite things in this or out of this world I used the anniversary to stare in awe at some of the images of space it has given us.

The one above is Hubble's sharpest view of the Orion Nebula. Click the link for an even stronger magnification than you will see if you click to enlarge here. From the website (emphasis added):
This dramatic image offers a peek inside a cavern of roiling dust and gas where thousands of stars are forming. The image, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, represents the sharpest view ever taken of this region, called the Orion Nebula. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image. Some of them have never been seen in visible light. These stars reside in a dramatic dust-and-gas landscape of plateaus, mountains, and valleys that are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon.

I had been thinking a lot about the Grand Canyon last week and found this most gorgeous shot. Not surprised by synchronicity much at all anymore, it seems to me this blog post took care of itself.

In my first year of sobriety I attended AA meetings and recall people saying, "I've been up in my head all day...for a week...too much lately..." The phrase didn't mean much to me then (probably because I was all up in my head) but I did get the message: that dwelling in the space between my ears -- and not being present in a moment or with a person -- is a sick, selfish, and senseless way to spend my time. It never has been and never will be all about me, me, me or you, you, you.

So this post is published in order to have it to return to the next time I go up there to dwell on the troubled affairs of my daily life or the worries about my security, my future, my this or my that. It will be here for you too, should you need it later. Because there is so, so much more out there besides us.

Grand Canyon by Sebastien Mamy

"I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that." ~ Rick, in CASABLANCA



kj said...

lydia! what a fantastic post! i am inspired and reminded and reclaimed just by your words. thank you, my friend. i really liked hearing your inside talk here.

hey, i'm an AA girl too. congratulations to us both! nice to see the world clearly, huh?!


the watercats said...

too right!... soooo much more! I think dwelling in our heads is alright for short bursts though, it enables us to fully be sure of who we are before we claim that we know ourselves... I'm in a 'in my head' space at the moment.. hence the quietude in blogsville... sometimes it's o.k to be self absorbed?... just a little bit?, lol

Darlene said...

Those photos can certainly make you feel insignificant, can't they?

The vastness of space is mind boggling. And to stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon and realize how long it took nature to carve that canyon is a humbling experience.

Living alone I do spend too much time in my head. I dredge up the past too often. Maybe it goes with the territory.

Lydia said...

kj~ Well, how about that? Yes it is nice to see the world clearly....and the cosmos too, thanks to Hubble!

the watercats~ O, you are so right. I (maybe this is my own justification talking) definitely distinguish between being up in your head in that me-me-me fashion from checking in with, and paying attention to, the creative universe that is the brain.
If your blogging quietude is going to bring forth what you have found in that universe then I think that's a great thing indeed!

Darlene~ You make a very solid point about living alone and spending time in thought. I still do not think that is quite the same as the me-me-me process of thought that makes "me" the center of the universe. Personally, I think having memories is one of the greatest gifts we have as human beings. And from what you have written about your past you must have some very beautiful memories.

Nancy said...

Love the photos and the lesson. Good thing to keep in mind - and who says it better than Bogey?

Lisa Allender said...

Ah, the luxurious feeling of philosophical thoughts! :)
Peace to you, Lydia. :)

Lisa Allender said...

Lydia--Gorgeous.Feels luxurious, such philosophical thought!
Peace to you.
"Friend" me on Facebook, sweetie! :)

Lydia said...

Nancy~ Indeed, who says it better than Bogey! It was wonderful having you visit.

Lisa~ Last night I am sure I left two comments on someone's blog because I couldn't tell if the first went through. I think that happened to you here. Both of your messages were marvelous and I couldn't delete one and keep the other! It was so good hearing from you; I've missed you and will toddle on over to your Facebook page.

bookmanie said...

"The earth engraved Geograpghy.
But huble copys the earth."Bookmanie

viridian said...

I can't come up with a deep philosophical comment. Just thank you, and the Hubble and GC pictures together are fantastic.

Erin Davis said...

I am sooo guilty of remaining "up in my head" for extended periods of time. Thanks so much for the beautiful perspective.

Looking to the Stars said...

I was in awe. I have a telescope but I have not been able to use it for awhile. A family motto of ours is "keep looking to the stars" My parents were avid star gazers. Thank you for the Hubble pic :)

Lydia said...

bookmanie~ Very interesting and appropriate quote! Thank you.

viridian~ O, I am so pleased you enjoyed this post. :)

Erin~ My pleasure, although I think you seem so well balanced! :)

Looking to the Stars~ I wish we had a telescope! We do attend the annual "Star Party" held at an 8000 acre state park near us, where we are able to look through numerous telescopes. I look forward to it each year.
Your parents gave you a marvelous family motto and unique viewpoint. Now I know where your blog name came from. :)

shasha said...

most of the time we really do need to think out of the box, and appreciate what is around us, and stop thinking about it's me,me and me..often times it is the only way to keep sane.nice post!

Hattie said...

I love living in a place where I can see so many stars at night (when it's not overcast and rainy, that is.)

Lydia said...

shasha~ Interesting perspective! I really appreciate your visit and comment. :)

Hattie~ Sounds wonderful. I used to love sleeping out in our backyard when I was a teen in Nevada. We lived 15 miles outside of Reno then and the stars were wondrous. So much development has happened since then that I suppose the people who live in the same house now witness a completely different kind of night sky...

Rhiannon said...

Thank you for reminding us Lydia. I've been "up in my head lately" for sure...this was just what I needed to read.

I love the Grand is just so beautiful I will never forget the times I have stood on the cliffs and looked at the incredible beauty of nature..will imagine myself there..or would that be me "in my head"?...not sure..:o)



Lydia said...

Rhi~ Look at your new profile pic! Beautiful.
I'm not sure how defined by AA, but it seems to me that spending time recalling special moments spent appreciating nature would be spiritual renewal and not the obsessing over me,me,me that seems to define "up in my head."

May each day be better than the ones behind.

Citizen of Earth said...

In my humble opinion, Hubble is one of the crowning achievements of mankind
But only if we share the beauty and the knowledge gathered by this miracle of science.
And we have, for the world of discovery has no real political boundaries...

Where do we come from?
Where are we going?

Questions like these were once forbidden outside the context of religion.
Now we look out at the universe and our curiosity is unfettered
For we ARE the universe, and tools like Hubble are merely a way for the universe to look at itself with an increasing amount of awareness, of which we are ALL a part...

Jennifer said...

Oh, I so often feel up in my head, but I attribute it to spending so much time alone, to my, ummm introspective nature. Thinking about how I am just a tiny little speck of dust in a wide universe is part of it, of course.

Anyway, this is a lovely post with a perfect title.

Lydia said...

Citizen of Earth~ I share your high opinion of Hubble, and I loved your words.

Jennifer~ If I were inclined to go to an AA meeting, which I am not, I would ask for a pinned-down definition of what most mean when they use that term "up in my head." My own definition of it does not include in the negative sense pondering the higher truths of our existence. Sounds like that works for both of us! ;)



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