Seeing Stars


So many of them scattered with dramatic carelessness across the night sky. Which was a deep cold fathom-less black. Colombo’s light polluted night had never revealed such treasures. The vast uninhibited sky over the Polonaruwa rest house was profoundly different. The adults with their beers further down in the darkness of the veranda. It was easy to bump into people wondering around stargazing. All around us the quiet slap of waves from the Parakrama Samudraya.

All this was quite long ago – well before the 2nd JVP uprising. I can’t remember any other specifics of the trip besides a fragmentary memory of squinting at the Aukana Buddha statue in the hard mind morning sun.

Yet that diamond studded sky keeps sprouting in to the mind at the oddest moments. Along with sensation of its cold vastness and how it turns if you spun looking up. No idea why I can recall those moments so vividly. And not important days of people close to me. Most likely a symptom of a flickering low watt mind.

When was the first time YOU really saw stars for the first time?

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20 comments

  1. Nice post! I was star obsessed as a child-wanted to work for NASA until this whole anthropology business kicked in. First memories are probably from nightly wanderings down my street, when I’d drag any available adult on missions to catch fireflies πŸ™‚

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  2. As a small kid fighting for the telescope with my brothers and sisters and winning. I was so passionate, my parents got me my own private telescope. But the image in my mind is the milky way I saw when I visited Mouna Kea observatory for the first time as a kid about 15 years ago! (It just flickered across my mind:)

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  3. The most memorable for me was on a drive to the estate in Hatton. Looking up and all the stars looked the brightest and the closest I had ever seen. An amazing site us city-dwellers rarely see.

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  4. We went to Somawathiya on a trip from school, (a few KM away from trinco) I was 16. It’s just a wide cleared space of jungle, silent as ever, with the daagaba stark white in the middle, and the whole sky midnight blue with twinkling stars. Amazing.. πŸ™‚

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  5. Thank you all for sharing πŸ˜€ I have to admit there’s something powerful about seeing the real thing. I guess that might have a factor with all the stories of astrology/mythology etc. Interesting that the Trinco area features a lot πŸ™‚

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  6. apologies about hijacking the thread and taking it a friolous path, but did anyone notice the “handey haava” recently? i saw it this morning but it seems the rabbit is now standing on its head, looking like a kidney. just wondering if anyone else noticed this or whether it’s finally time i go get my upstairs checked.

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  7. pissu perera: πŸ˜€ After all the poya nights at the temple gazing at the moon I still can’t spot the lunar rabbit. I think its a visual perception thing like ink blots

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  8. Comet watching in Havelock town – recollect seeing a fuzzy blur in the night sky. Later years, stretched out on my lawn in Maskeliya, brilliant cold nights and the sky filled with the star light

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  9. Actually one more to add to this…one night I remember was in Hikks, lying onthe beach with my ipod in, Kaskade washing over me and the stars blazing. That was a relaxing experience.

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  10. I was fascinated with cosmos since kindregarten..and I asked mom how to be a ‘star scientist’? She said first you have to do well in maths and do physics for ALs…The momentum I received that day was enough for me to get selected to Uni 12 years later:)
    So in a way I am indebted to stars..planets and whatever there in a clear night sky..

    The most memorable day was the day I saw Hailey’s comet in 1986! I have no intention of seeing that again though πŸ™‚

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  11. Kirigalpoththa: πŸ˜† You should add that to the hiking stuff on your blog πŸ˜€ I guess being out in the wilderness is a chance to star gaze without much light pollution.

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