Stars are a thing with me.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling scattered and tired, I step out my back door at night to look at the sky. I live in a very built up suburban area and the night is never really dark. Still, unless there’s total cloud cover, I can see the stars.
Surrounded by the night air and the soft quiet, looking at them brings me a sense of calm, and of awe, and of joy. And the poem by Robert Frost set to Randall Thompson’s music always comes into my head.
O Star (the fairest one in sight), We grant your loftiness the right To some obscurity of cloud – It will not do to say of night, Since dark is what brings out your light.
I sang that when I was in my high school choir – – 40 + years ago. I still remember every word and can hear every note, just as we sang it then. I would get goosebumps while singing it…and I still do.
Some mystery becomes the proud. But to be wholly taciturn In your reserve is not allowed. Say something to us we can learn By heart and when alone repeat. Say something! And it says “I burn.” But say with what degree of heat. Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade. Use language we can comprehend. Tell us what elements you blend. It gives us strangely little aid, But does tell something in the end.
And the ending…the ending is really something:
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite, Not even stooping from its sphere, It asks a little of us here. It asks of us a certain height, So when at times the mob is swayed To carry praise or blame too far, We may choose something like a star To stay our minds on and be staid.
So, yeah – – stars are a thing with me. They lift me up, they calm me down. They comfort me. They help me focus.
Watch and listen to this glorious YouTube video slide show and performance by the New York Choral Society with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Richard Auldon Clark, from the album “The Testament Of Freedom/Frostiana” on Koch International. (The video was made by dgemini2.)
What do the stars say to you?