Posts Tagged ‘stars’


 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.


A Word in the silence

Light in the darkness

One single ember scatters a blaze — millions of sparks,

Each a sun, a planet — glowing into light-years of space.

A Word births galaxies, spins orbits, sets morning stars singing,

Light giving life.


Somewhere a small blue-green ball sees its first sunrise.

Time as He counts it — all times are now — streams by,

shimmering light and encroaching dark


a Star slips to earth,

shines from the misty eyes of a newborn.

Stars spin, galaxies dance,

the Light flashes to the corners of our soul-darkness.


Eons, moments, till the Light extinguishes the darkness

with a Word cried from a cross,

splits the borders of death with Light

deafens the silence with the Word.


Planets spiral, stars rise and set,

Light blasts through clinging blue-green shadows

with the voice of the Angel,

the trumpet-Word of God.

Morning rays of a million nebulae flash

A forever-day, never night again.


The Word made flesh, God from the beginning;

before stars dawned in Orion’s belt,

before the singing of planets,

before any shadow fell,

before we — less than sparks

in the eons-long conflagration of space —

before we saw the Light of His glory,

God, first, last, and forever,



For the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.


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Sometimes, out of nowhere, it comes back,
that night when, driving home from the city,
having left the nearest streetlight miles behind us,

we lost our way on the back country roads
and found, when we slowed down to read a road sign,
a field alive with the blinking of fireflies,

and we got out and stood there in the darkness,
amazed at their numbers, their scattered sparks
igniting silently in a randomness

that somehow added up to a marvel
both earthly and celestial, the sky
brought down to earth, and brought to life,

a sublunar starscape whose shifting constellations
were a small gift of unexpected astonishment,
luminous signalings leading us away

from thoughts of where we were going
or coming from, the cares that often drive us
relentlessly onward and blind us

to such flickering intervals when moments
are released from their rigid sequence
and burn like airborne embers, floating free.

“Interval” by Jeffrey Harrison, from Feeding the Fire. © Sarabande Books, 2001. Reprinted with permission.


Happy summer evenings — why do we forget to look at small things when we get older?  I think when we get too old to appreciate the world around us — we have “seen it all” — that’s when we truly get old.

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“When He is King we will give Him the Kings’ gifts,

Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown,
Beautiful robes,” said the young girl to Joseph,
Fair with her firstborn on Bethlehem Down.

Bethlehem Down is full of the starlight,
Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold,
Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

When He is King, they will clothe Him in gravesheets,
Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown,
He that lies now in the white arms of Mary
Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down.

Here He has peace and a short while for dreaming,
Close huddled oxen to keep Him from cold,
Mary for love, and for lullaby music
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

— Bruce Blunt

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A frosty Christmas Eve when the stars were shining
Fared I forth alone where westward falls the hill,
And from many a village in the water’d valley
Distant music reach’d me peals of bells aringing:
The constellated sounds ran sprinkling on earth’s floor
As the dark vault above with stars was spangled o’er.

Then sped my thoughts to keep that first Christmas of all
When the shepherds watching by their folds ere the dawn
Heard music in the fields and marveling could not tell
Whether it were angels or the bright stars singing.

Now blessed be the towers that crown England so fair
That stand up strong in prayer unto God for our souls
Blessed be their founders (said I) an’ our country folk
Who are ringing for Christ in the belfries tonight
With arms lifted to clutch the rattling ropes that race
Into the dark above and the mad romping din.

But to me heard afar it was starry music
Angels’ song, comforting as the comfort of Christ
When he spake tenderly to his sorrowful flock:
The old words came to me by the riches of time
Mellow’d and transfigured as I stood on the hill
Heark’ning in the aspect of th’ eternal silence.

–Robert Bridges, Poet Laureate, United Kingdom (1913)

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Jul, Jul

I know this should be a post from my pen, but I’m in the throes of five papers (two done already last night) to be turned in tonight.  So instead of what I was going to post, here is a lovely Norwegian carol I’ll be singing with friends this Christmas day.

Jul, jul, strålande jul, glans över vita skogar.
Christmas, Christmas, shining Christmas, light above white forests.
Himmelens kronor, med gnistrande ljus.
Crowns of heavean with glistening lights.
Glimmande bågar i alla guds hus.
Glowing bows in the houses of God.
Psalm som är sjungen från tid till tid.
Hymn that is sung from time to time.
Eviga längtan till ljus och frid.
Eternal desire of light and peace.
Jul, jul, strålande jul, glans över vita skogar.
Christmas, Christmas, shining Christmas, light above white forests.
Kom, kom, signade jul, sänk dina vita vingar.
Come, come, sacred Christmas, lower your white wings.
Över stridernas blod och larm.
Above the blood and sounds of war.
Över alla suckan ur människobarm.
Over the sighs from humans.
Över de släkten som gå till ro.
Over the families who go to peace.
Över de ungas vars dagar nu gro.
Over the young whose days go past.
Kom, kom, signade jul, sänk dina vita vingar.
Come, come, sacred Christmas, lower your white wings.

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On Tax Day, I’m sure many of us are bemoaning life.  Whether we have to pay or not, tax day is an annoying task that seems to come around much more often than once a year.  Given that, I thought a little perspective might be in order…for me (you all do what you want).

relative sizes of the smaller planets

relative sizes of all planets in the solar system

relative sizes of planets compared to sun

relative size of sun compared to other nearby stars

relative sizes of previous stars with larger ones

view of part of the universe from Hubble

zoom shot of one of the "dark" areas from previous photo

It kind of puts other problems in perspective, doesn’t it?  And the best part?  Now that we’re properly humbled, here’s the clincher:

relative importance of me to God

Now, if only I could get the IRS to decide my taxes weren’t that important…

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