Tag Archives: stars

Movie Legends Ascend to the Firmament

Farewell my Princess

empire-strikes-back-carrie-fisher

I wish this awesome girl hero had come along when I was even younger- but even in college years she was inspiring. When did we ever see such a kick ass heroine in space?  Leia opened the door for Ellen Ripley of Aliens, Captain Janeway, even Buffy.

[BREAKING NEWS: DEBBIE REYNOLDS DIES, 1 DAY AFTER HER DAUGHTER. LINK]

When Carrie Fisher wrote Postcards from the Edge, I was really surprised. She was so amazingly candid for movie royalty. When she came out as manic depressive, I was thrilled.  Maybe we could finally talk about it like any other illness.  May you can be brilliant, creative and flawed. Even crazy. And it’s okay.

2D957D8700000578-3280234-image-a-17_1445336449812When I saw The Force Awakens, the reunion of Leia and Han was a kick in the heart – a good one, but full of real life angst. No fairytale romance for them -clearly they gave it a go, but grew apart. Years of gritty revolution took it’s toll, of course they’re battle weary.

Thank you, Carrie

For the inspiration, for the laughs, and most of all for permission to tell it like it is.

Some words of wisdom from Carrie Fisher

  • “I feel I’m very sane about how crazy I am.” 
  • “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ” 
  • “There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.” 

Strange Silvery Cloud

“As many as 80% of all people on earth today have never had the chance to witness a clear view of the Milky Way.

Have you seen the Milky Way? How did it make you feel? Leave me a comment and tell me about it.

“In 1994 a major earthquake struck LA, causing massive power outages across the city. Residents called 911 to express alarm about a “strange silvery cloud” hovering overhead.”

Illusion of Lights, a film from Goldpaint Photography, specialists in landscape astrophotography

“I like to run at night in the summertime because it’s nice and cool. As I’m running, I’m thinking about work and the discoveries that we’re making.  I look up at the stars. And in that split second, just that fraction of a second when I first saw not pinpoints of light, which are stars. I saw planetary systems. I saw solar systems. I saw other planets out there. It’s really hard to articulate that kind of an experience. It’s something very personal.”

~Natalie Batalha (from a 2013 interview with Krista Tippett)

Natalie Batalha hunts for earth-like planets beyond our solar system. A research astronomer at NASA Ames Research Center, she heads the Kepler Mission.   In its first four years, the mission confirmed over 100 new planets — but the search for one just right for life continues. Early interpretations of Kepler data point to as many as 17 billion Earth-sized planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone.

Universe, Part 3: A Bearable Vastness

Part 3

Lately I’ve heard a number of interviews with Natalie Batahla, planetary astronomer and poet. She works with NASA’s Kepler Mission,  a search for earthlike planets. Natalie has a beautiful optimism about the ability of science  to reveal mysteries and nourish the human mind.

“I have a great reverence for the mysteries of the cosmos… Carl Sagan said that understanding is a form of ecstasy.”

It’s wonderful to hear a scientist speak about her work, the discovery of knowledge and joy, so much the way artists explain why they do the work that they do.

“No matter how extreme the environment here on earth there seems to be life. nature seems to be creative, and robust, and my thought is that if it’s creative here it’s likely to be true in the whole universe as well. “

Natalie describes Dark Energy as Love:

“Ninety-five percent of the mass of the universe being something we can’t even see, and yet it moves us. It draws us. It creates galaxies. We’re like moving on a current of this gravitational field created by mostly stuff that we can’t see. And the analogy with love just struck me, you know, that it’s like this thing that we can’t see, that we don’t understand yet. It’s everywhere and it moves us.

“I am the universe, and I am taking a look at myself, using my senses.”

Then she quotes her (and my) hero, Carl Sagan:

“for small creatures such as we, the vastness is only bearable through love.”