Stars On The Ground

From the ninth floor of the hotel I work at I have encompassing views of this city. The lake reflects lights from the far shore, making fuzzy yellow streaks on its surface. From the opposite side I can see off into hills and drink in the brightness of the city’s center. At night, when I work, I usually step off my route and take some time to gaze off into lights of the city. They’re yellow stars on a concrete sky. As one of my favourite artist sang,

“Now the peace you will find, in your own you have found, the lights of the city are the stars on the ground” – Lisa Loeb‘s “When All the Stars Were Falling”

The formations of the lights, a mix of streetlights, outside houselights and the glow of windows, seem to create patterns of their own to match the heroes, animals, gods and objects above. Across the lake is a noble, intelligent crow in flight. On the hill is a wounded, bent golden crown. At the city’s heart is an alert and steadfast stag. They are constellations of class and location.
Shamen, story tellers and all walks of people created maps for their night sky in our distant past. Their skyscape was formed with visions of things essential to who they were, images so important to earthly life that they needed to be reflected in the still expanse of the heavens. We may not still place our hopes, stories and fears in the night sky, but what are we doing to interpret the lights we’ve placed on the earth? If we are placing sprawls of electric lights as stars around us, what stories will we imprint on them? What gods will you create on your block? Will your likeness grace the towers of commerce or the domain of sleeping families?

Photos that were once included with this entry have been removed and may now be in my main photo album.

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