Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Mixtape: 5 art picks inspired by summer stargazing

Each week, usually on Monday, I compile a metaphorical mixtape, a few "tracks" of art I can't wait to share with you.  It might help you to know that tracks are loosely related by theme and very much influenced by whim.

There's something lovely about the timing of the Perseid Meteor Shower this year:  the Olympics closing ceremonies, my son's last weekend home before college.  The last time we remembered to look up at the sky for this annual gold-medal event was 2008. That's a crying shame.
Still, any night is a good night for stargazing.  As the motto goes:
You might see a lot or you might not see many, but if you stay in the house, you won’t see any.
This week I've curated for you a collection of artwork inspired by the melancholy romance of stargazing.


track 1: stargazing playlist (music)

track 2:  Memories of a Suburban Utopia, Anton Van Herbruggen (illustration)

                                                                       Source: via Tamara on Pinterest

track 3: stargazing how-to links

A Stargazing Party at The Sweetest Occasion:  what a fun idea!

Printable Summer Constellation Map at Mr. Printables:  helpful, low-tech tool that's not just for kids.

Eyes on the Sky: August 6 - 12 on YouTube:  no fair commenting on the geek-i-ness of this link, the information is so helpful!

EarthSky's Top 10 Tips for Meteor-Watching at EarthSky


track 4:  Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas (poetry)

Fern Hill

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
       The night above the dingle starry,
               Time let me hail and climb
       Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
               Trail with daisies and barley
       Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
       In the sun that is young once only,
               Time let me play and be   
       Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
               And the sabbath rang slowly
       In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
       And playing, lovely and watery
               And fire green as grass.
       And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
       Flying with the ricks, and the horses
               Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
       Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
               The sky gathered again
       And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
       Out of the whinnying green stable
               On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
       In the sun born over and over,
               I ran my heedless ways,
       My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
       Before the children green and golden
               Follow him out of grace,

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
       In the moon that is always rising,
               Nor that riding to sleep
       I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
               Time held me green and dying
       Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
Dylan Thomas, “Fern Hill” from The Poems of Dylan Thomas. Copyright 1939, 1946 by New Directions Publishing Corporation. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: The Poems of Dylan Thomas (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1946)

track 5:  Time Lapse from Laity Lodge Youth Camp 2012

                                                 Source: Laity Lodge Youth Camp Timelapse by best2weeks on YouTube 

update:  When I posted this I forgot to add a note about this track.  Andrew worked for Laity Lodge Youth Camp (Echo Valley) for six weeks this summer.  On a clear-skyed, July night deep in the heart of the beautiful Hill Country, we happened to be visiting when this stunning time-lapse video premiered.  Don't miss the starlit night and the rolling storm footage.  

bonus track:  Memories of a Suburban UtopiaAnton Van Herbruggen (illustration)

"That does not keep me from having a terrible need of—shall I say the word—religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars."  (Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother)

Before I go, I should tell you that I love to hear what poems, pictures, songs and reasonable words you are enjoying.  Please do stop by the comment box and share a bit with me.  

Hoping that you find your common days aflame  with good books, 
pictures, poems, songs, words and ideas!

Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...