Tuesday, July 6, 2010


My son has been telling me all about the planets, what he likes and doesn't about the various gas masses billions of miles away in the sky. Mercury is a source of disgust for void of color and landscaping, while Jupiter evokes a soft spot for aesthetic quality. We've been discussing the purchase of a telescope after our recent trip to the Planetarium, having spent an hour observing stars and planets in their natural dark habitat, illuminated for us to see.

And just one day later I found the pair of us at our Mother's Day Out where Philip attends and I teach in a different classroom. We ended up in the same gymnasium time this week, a rare occurrence, and I was able to see my Star with a number of other busy constellations running in all sorts of directions. Yet my Star was anchored to the bleachers, fixed on the top row like the North Star, stationary in the midst of such chaos. No matter what direction the others traveled, my little Star sat still. Frowning. Crying. Confused at how to join in and studying me for what to do next. It was a painful observation session.

It got me thinking about Mercury and why he has a strong dislike for it: Similarity. You are who you are, and sometimes you just can't change it, no matter how colorful or rocky you wish you were. Some are just smooth and colorless, some just don't have the range others do. And when you are fixed in position to just stare at the variations... It's going to turn you cold and colorless deep inside, not just on the surface. You are, isolated, in the midst of the galaxy.

This week, we are going to get a book from the library on Mercury, and discover all the good points and rarities about this planet. I for one have always preferred gray to other colors. You always know what you are going to get, and the shades are predictable. There is something to be said for dependancy. I like knowing who I can count on.