When You Feel Yourself Falling Into Twilight, Hold The Sky
Things fall apart. Our earthly emotions seem especially vulnerable lately. But you can hold on to sanity, sometimes, by simply holding on to the sky.
What is meant by holding onto the sky? Here it is:
The sky can be thought of as Mother Earth’s aura. The atmosphere, much like our emotional energy, extends far further than just our physical bodies. The earth’s crust is thin compared to the depth and height of the atmosphere. The atmosphere of earth extends out to the edge of space at nearly 1,000 km., in places, according to Vaden W. Miles in Physical Science.
If you think of the thin bit of Earth ‘shell’ that is Earth’s crust, you can feel gravity holding you onto the planet. The land mass, even at earth’s thickest crust is no more than about 42km., (forty- two always seems to be a magnificent answer to so many questions!), but the atmosphere is where it is all happening. You find the energy of the sun collected, the weather made that influences your day, the protection of all life by a layer of ozone, and the slower effects of climate warming that is so hotly contested by non-believers.
You can reconnect, mentally to the surface — of course — to all living and flourishing flora and fauna that shares that rare space between surface and atmosphere. We share our DNA, after all, with every living being.
Yet, the sky holds more promise, more mystery, more romance and for many, more beauty. When you are in a funk, there is something to be gained, by looking up. At the other extreme, when you need more elation, looking up confirms it.
The sky, the air we breathe, the water that makes life possible, the never-ending pageantry, and even the light we feel and see affects our moods, our thoughts and our belonging. Beyond the ceiling of the sky is the vast, limitless, cold space we call the Exosphere., which is high indeed, reaching almost halfway to the moon.
The sacred sky, the sacre’ bleu, is literally “Holy Blue” in French, reminding us of all things held sacred, wondrous and promising.
When I see the sky, I usually find comfort and joy. Of course, at times of loss and crisis, we can use the sky as a kind of projective psychology test, as well. If we are blue and moody, the sky will reflect that. There is great comfort in this, as you can think that the entire sky validates you, and you can contain the whole sky in your consciousness. Miraculous.
If we are dreary, rainy and miserable, we can find that in the sky as well, a kind of validation, which everyone needs sometimes. We suffer storms. We weather challenges.
The same kind of projective test can affect us at both dawn and twilight. We are literally tied to the sky, but our emotions are somehow both within it, and beyond it. This has always seemed like a very special relationship, one that it is easy to suspect our animal kin only can share to a very limited degree of appreciation.
There are four layers of atmosphere you can use to check in with the sky to meditate, or just appreciate how very blessed your life is to be sustained by our very rare (the only confirmed one we know) atmosphere.
The first layer, the troposphere, is where we live. Here the surface of the earth meets the sky. It is a good thing to contemplate when new feelings are dawning, or when a bruised sunset helps you identify, and thereby, comprehend, and work with your emotions.
“To thine own self be true,” Shakespeare says in Hamlet, which simply tells us — just as any good psychologist would — that you must get in touch with your feelings before you can sort them out and find solutions in your life. Think of the troposphere, then, as the first layer in your contemplation of self. To know thyself also means knowing your physical bonds to earth and sky, if you are to make a well-informed decision dealing with our basic reality.
The second layer of sky, the stratosphere, can be supremely inspirational. When making a decision, simply cast your choices up into the stratosphere. Clouds high up here can be thought of like your dreams, cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds high above you can be up to 50 miles high., according to windows 2 the Universe. Here the “ sky is the limit.”
Our thoughts and dreams can float unimpeded. Yet, temperatures here stay at a fairly steady rate. Air here is relatively stable. These are factoids that are useful in examining our physical limits, even as you allow your imagination to be limitless.
The third layer up in the atmosphere is the mesosphere. Here is where the warmth of our planet begins to cool off. Think of the mesosphere as a middle place. Remind yourself that all you know, love and hold dear is closer to where you live. That thought will, as they say, “bring you back down to Earth.
Last for you to contemplate, to tie you, your hopes and fears, your soaring joys and depth of sorrows, is the ionosphere. Here, up to 1,000 km high, according to Physics Factbook, is where we ‘break the surly bonds of earth, to touch the face of God.’
What mental pictures and aspirations are to be found here! Exploration, risk-taking, adventure, and dreams beyond even the stratosphere can be launched in the ionosphere. Heat trapped by the life-giving solar winds is what excites air molecules here. In your imagination, all the sizzle starts here.
Molecules here are zapped by the extreme energy of the sun, propagating radio waves. Think of the eye of the sky, the sun, as being captured and converted to human energy.
When you see or hear anything electric, thank the ionosphere for this. Horus, or Ra, the ancient sky god was depicted as having the ‘eyes of the sky.’ One eye is the sun, the other eye is the moon.
In the ionosphere, sun’s energy breaks apart molecules. Thy lose and gain electrons and are reborn each second. What could possibly be a more literal and metaphorical map, to constant reminders of energy, electricity, vibrancy and life!
You need look no further to find endless inspiration for your mind and spirit. It is in our literature, poetry, and art representing all richness and variation of human emotions and thoughts reflected by the sun, the moon, the stars, and the fullness of sky, shimmering through the aura that is our Earth.
Vaden W. Miles in Physical Science.
Physics Factbook, C. S. Gillmor on the ionosphere
“Know Thyself” inscription at the Temple of Apollo Delphic Oracle in Greece.