A Philosopher, a Poem, and a Song

04/27/2013

galileo-telescopeA while ago I woke with a moonbeam shining in my eyes. My mind called out: it’s too early to be awake! It’s hardly into the third hour of the day and I’d hoped to wake when the alarm went off at 7am. But the moon had other plans, shining her beaming light across my face, through the small opening in the window covering. After turning and trying to think of sleep, I laid on my back, eyes open, and heard the lines of a poem running through my mind:

“How the heart mingles with the moonlit hour, As if the starry heavens suffused a power.”

It’s been a while since I’ve thought of this poem and it took time to remember it all. The beginning was eluding me and, having realized sleep was not returning, I tiptoed to my home office and sought out the poem. There it was! The stanza that was eluding me: “And when oblivious to the world we stray, At dead of night, along some noiseless way,”

This poem, Starry Heavens, is one of my all-time favorites. I hadn’t thought about it in a year or more. I’m happy to be woken by moonbeams to help me remember it. Memorized poems need to be occasionally dusted off and recited, even if only for ourselves. An audience for my interest of memorizing poetry is yet to be found in my life, so I’m thankful to share it here.

lovedthestars_galileo 2More prose is wandering through my thoughts this early morning… this time by Galileo… “I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” What a beautiful statement, making me think about faith even though the man himself was not known for being pious.

I discovered this as I sought more information about a quote I was misinformed about, from years ago. I’d been watching a PBS program with the always-inspirational Dr. Wayne Dyer, and he shared a quote that had me pause the VCR (like I said, years ago): “The sun, with all it’s planets revolving around it, can ripen the smallest bunch of grapes as if it had nothing better to do. . . Why then, should I doubt His power?”

I wrote down this quote and memorized it as I heard it, not realizing I mistook the pause in Dr. Dyer’s sharing of the quote because I added his own comment to the end of Galileo’s writing. So for years I’d memorized this tidbit from Galileo with an unintentional Wayne Dyer addition on the end. It’s a great quote, and my inadvertent ‘addition’ has brought me great comfort through the years. However I prefer to know the truth, and to know who really said what. Now I know Galileo wouldn’t have said something like that, and it was indeed Dr. Dyer’s own wise words. Let’s hear it for research!

Today I woke too early, with a poem about the moon and the stars in my mind, and thoughts of Galileo hovering. Then, as I thought of Galileo, I easily recalled a great song by The Indigo Girls and have shared it here. As I wrote in a previous post: It has been suggested that insomnia is linked with creativity.” This is my share today, sent out to any other insomnia wanderers out there, and of course all my readers whatever time of day you happen to come upon this post. I hope you enjoy and are inspired to relish every moment of the day.

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“Galileo Galilei (Feb 5, 1564 – Jan 8, 1642) was a Tuscan (Italian) physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of science”, and “the Father of Modern Science.” The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, taught in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, named the Galilean moons in his honour, and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, improving compass design. Galileo’s championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime. The geocentric view had been dominant since the time of Aristotle, and the controversy engendered by Galileo’s presentation of heliocentrism as proven fact resulted in the Catholic Church’s prohibiting its advocacy as empirically proven fact, because it was not empirically proven at the time and was contrary to the literal meaning of Scripture. Galileo was eventually forced to recant his heliocentrism and spent the last years of his life under house arrest on orders of the Roman Inquisition.” [source]
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May be of interest:
http://openparachute.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/what-did-galileo-ever-do-to-you/

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[Images not mine]

25 responses to A Philosopher, a Poem, and a Song

  1. 

    great post! how can one not be affected by the sprinkling of magic moon dust in the wee hours of the morning? great post and great song as the icing on the cake!

    in a post yesterday, i also mentioned awakening in the middle of the night with clarity and a poem running through my head! our alpha/theta states surely tap into a bit of genius while we are sleeping, and every so often that genius taps on our shoulder and whispers, ‘wake up and remember!’

    • 

      Hello dear heart and thank you for this amazing comment! I love how you enjoyed the song as icing on the cake :).
      Yes, we do get tapped by Life saying quietly, “Wake up and remember!” Well put! Thank you for sharing that you too have ‘heard’ a poem recently with some help from insomnia. I find that fascinating! Thanks again for this great comment. Hugs! Gina xo

  2. 

    Gina,
    I LOVED this post. Yes, the moon was so bright and beautiful last night! And “Galilelo” is one of my favorite Indigo Girls songs, too. What a beautiful video. One those odd times for me, when I got a little teary-eyed! Now I have to go find a YouTube video for “Hammer and a Nail,” another favorite! Thank you for starting my Saturday on such a lovely note!
    Love,
    Cathy

    • 

      Cathy, I also get unexpectedly teary-eyed at this song. And I too love ‘A Hammer and Nail’ and it always inspires me to get moving to make a difference in this world! Thanks for reminding me of THAT favorite song. Yes the moon was beautiful last night (this morning!) and I am so thankful for the snowy grey skies to have at last dissipated to allow in some clear skies with warming temps (very warm! Like summer suddenly). Thanks for sharing your cheery Saturday start with me!
      Love,
      Gina

  3. 

    Great Thinker.

  4. 

    Wow. What a great reply, showing how you ‘get’ me. I too would not put Galileo in any other camp other than what I’m in (hence the ‘quote marks’) and am so glad you enjoyed this post. You put it so well, that he saw God’s workings clearer than anyone. A poem right there.
    Thank you! Hugs, Gina
    A friendly postscript: While they’re likely awesome I’ve not yet listened to the Dixie Chicks besides their radio hits. A favorite of mine (I own many of their CDs) is The Indigo Girls, whose video I’ve included. Well someone’s video, to their song. Their song-crafting skill blows me away. Such poets! Cheers 🙂

  5. 

    I love hearing how you productively use those middle-of-the-night sleepless moments, Gina! I, too, was awakened by the moonlight. Tiptoed up to my sanctuary and spent some quality time with our Maker. Precious moments, right? The now – the present of presence – what a gift! Thank you for sharing. Nice to be back reflecting and recalling with you. 🙂

    • 

      Hello Jan! How wonderful to be back ‘reflecting and recalling’ with you as well. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, and my productive use of insomnia. Yes moonlit times are a precious time to spend time with our Maker. Thank you for your always-welcomed visit and for sharing this delightful comment. Hugs, Gina xo

  6. 

    Hi, Gina. Thank you for this post. I too have long loved the quote:

    “I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

    Russ

  7. 

    An insomnia and creativity link? That makes perfect sense.

  8. 

    Reblogged this on Sustaining Stories Coaching and Retreats and commented:
    This post got me to thinking about the power of memorization, something I resisted for a long time. It’s never too late to start, I’ve been learning. How many of you, make a practice of memorizing poems, songs or anything else that touches you deeply?

  9. 

    Reblogged this on My Drafting Table.

  10. 

    Hi Gina! Over the last seven years having little ones, I have been up a lot in the middle of the night — me and the moon and a babe! I began to really enjoy the night wakings (ok well, sort of!)….it’s the quietest time of my day (night!). Now we are much more well rested and when there is a night waking (because of a kiddo or because of the Moon), i actually cherish it. I appreciate the silence — in our house and in my mind. The veil between us and the mystical/Divine is muuuch thinner in the middle of the night. Some times things are sooooo much clearer. Thank you for these beautiful quotes, Gina. Lovely. Love, Lisa
    http://www.barefootbarn.com

  11. 

    This post is a pleasure to read, you give your uplifting thoughts full of inspirational ideas, that you have practiced and perfected to help others With links to follow that will improve our understanding and help us stay motivated in good activity.
    I am also an insomniac because there are not enough hours of daylight to fit in all the wonderful things in life.

    • 

      So you too are an insomniac because there are not enough hours in the day for all the wonderful things in life. I love that! So well put. I too often feel that way.. and sometimes it’s like something from within is waking me to pay attention, so I work on my listening and observing. Thanks again Jack for your very welcomed visit and comments. I shall be over to visit your site shortly. Cheers, Gina

  12. 

    i love those very early mornings, whether roused by the errant moonbeam or after a restless night of tossing and turning, with that first cup of coffee breathing in the last of the night air while watching the moon make its descent. it’s so peaceful.

    i also love the quote that the artist attributed to galileo. sadly though, the words are not his. they are from a poem published in 1868 by the english poet sarah williams entitled ‘the old astronomer (to his pupil)’ referencing another famous astronomer, tycho brahe. another page on wordpress gives the complete poem (the blogger’s favorite) as well as annotations and links of other references to the poem. enjoy it in its entirety…. http://apersonfromporlock.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/all-my-theory-complete/

    • 

      Thank you! I always appreciate learning the accurate source of quotes. The link is very helpful, and your generosity here touches my heart. Thank you again. Regards, G