We’ve all been there… the tossing and turning, a racing mind, a taxing day that leaves us over tired—either way, sleep is not happening. When this happens to me, I turn over in bed and ask Steve with a hopeful inflection “Will you tell mee a stooorry?” His usual reply is a groggy twitch accompanied by a bit of slurred speech: “A story? I don’t know any stories.” 50% of the time, I turn over miffed and resume staring at the ceiling fan. 50% of the time he tells me a childhood story that is funny, but expeditious, leaving me once again, staring at the ceiling fan.
Last night I changed my approach and got subject specific, knowing he wouldn’t be able to resist the bait. The topic: Space, a subject he is extraordinarily well versed. There is not a question he can’t answer, not a lull in facts to be had. A “I don’t know any stories ” quickly became, “Well…what do you want to know?” Jackpot…I found my human ambien.
Although it was meant as a means of distraction, the assumption I had of lulling to sleep over boring space statistics didn’t materialize. My one question led to five more that needed hasty answering, causing me to face a fact about myself: I am a closet space lover. A star gazing, full moon frolicker. A stand in the street at 1am to watch a rocket on it’s way to space kind of lady.
As I think back, it starts to make sense. The styrofoam solar system in grade school that I obsessively shaded and glittered to perfection. My second grade short story assignment about humans roller skating on the luminous rings of Saturn. Even in my twenties I found myself on the Science Museum lawn, hoping for a glimpse of space through a bunch of amateur stargazers homemade telescopes. I should of pieced the puzzle together completely last month when I suggested to Steve we take a star gazing vacation to Sedona.
To me, space is mysterious and complicated. Too large to grasp while simultaneously making me feel too small to matter. If I think about the vapid open black for too long, I start to get anxious and little bit twitchy, needing to ground myself with mossy covered thoughts of earth, reveling in the luxury of oxygen.
If there is one way to explore space, it is through her supernatural visuals of gassy combustive starts and stops. Our conversation topics flipped and flopped between talks of physics and creationism, ideas I felt best suited to represent through lovely visuals. And what glorious visuals they are.