Sunday, October 22, 2006

An Empty Sky

There are a number of differences between living in Japan and living in Australia. The trains are better over here, I can't read the signs, the money is different, the chimes that are used to strike the hour on some clocks is used as a class bell with intervals of 10, 15 and 40 minutes instead of 60, and more. There is one big thing that I've noticed that speaks on a different level.

The difference is that I can't see the stars. When you look up at night all you see is a dark grey. On some occasions, I might see one or two, but no more than that. This feels to be a rather depressing sight, and I can't help feel it reduces the awe and majesty of space. I can remember looking at the stars when I was young, and then much later (about 17 or so) when I first really saw the Milky Way I was even more awestruck, and realised just how much of the night sky you miss by living in a city. And here, the loss is almost total.

I think that not having such a view I think must necessarily reduce one's sense of wonder at the universe as a whole, and the smallness of the Earth within the universe. As I'm writing, I'm wondering if some of the lack of interest in the world , and the universe in general, among people these days is due to the lack of opportunity to see the beauty of the night sky.

I wonder just how many Japanese children have grown up not knowing the beauty of a sky full of stars, and the inspiration such a sight provides. Hopefully, such visions can be seen in the less urban parts of Japan (I've been told they exist). More people should see such sights.

End Post
Writing time: 40 minutes
Time since last post: 1 day
Current media: Battlestar Galactica 3x04 with podcast commentary

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having just spent a few days in a moneatery in the middle of WA's wheat belt, I'm in the mood to absolutely agree with you. Thinking that I needed a bit of time to figure out what things were about, looking up and seeing the milky way is a fantastic way of gaining a little perspective :)