Of Stars and Gods

Not to be confused with my upcoming story of a similar title.


So, just recently I was meandering down along the coast and we took it upon ourselves to visit a small (supposedly the smallest) church a couple of miles around the headland. An arduous walk which some would have you believe had been known to lead to spiritual enlightenment. More like mild asphyxia and temporary halucinations but that would be the cynic in me.

By definition I am an atheist. But I understand and even envy those of a religous bent. Or rather the ability to have faith. Now, for me at least, the impressive thing about this secluded church wasn’t its size or lack of it but that such a small community (I think it may have numbered sixty individuals (men, women and children at its height)) would have built a church rather than something much more useful like a water wheel or such. But they had faith and so built a place of worship.

This church dates from way, way , way back, even thought to have a Norman Baptismal font and that’s old and then some. And that is what gets me! A small community struggling against the world and they take time out to build a, at least practically, useless building. If you knew the exact location of this church you would realise what an undertaking this was. Even to this day you can only get to it on foot or with a ‘proper’ four wheel drive vehicle. Faith! It’s a wondeful thing and it’s a shame so many use it in a negative way but this auld atheist’s heart wishes that I had an iota of it within my soul. No epiphany for me!

As for stars. Just below the constellation of Cassiopeia (I guess it depends on which direction you look from) is a group of five stars and when I first saw them I thought my eyes were playing up. Some weird eye thingy which meant that they appeared brighter  when I didn’t look directly at them. This was not so. My partner suffered the  same illusion. I suppose it’s the spacing of the stars co-inciding with the rods or cones within my eye that ‘fused’ (?) them together so making them appear so much brighter when not directly focused on them and so alligning the spot within your eyeball with the densest concentration of rods and cones. Or something like that but bloody wierd all the same no matter how logical I can be. Odd that it didn’t seem to replicate the effect anywhere else and now I am back in the ‘Smoke’ they are not even visible.

Even using the huge tool that is Google I cannot exactly locate the group of stars that had this effect, all the piccies showed no group standing out. Reminds me of a story, from a book I think where the hero when he was young for a brief period thought he could use his mind to interfere with the television. Of course it frustrated him that the effect he saw was not witnessed by anyone else and eventually figured out that when he concentrated he gritted his jaws together and at a certain level the muscles would vibrate minutely so effecting his eyeballs and vision. Do you remember those wonderful days of mystery? Still down in the country where the air is clear the Star field is a wonderful sight. Just don’t get me started on Global warming and the Clean Air Act!

At least not today!

I hope that you all are keeping well and I apologise in advance if for the next month my posts are few but there are a few new stories bubbling about within the shell of my brain, a couple already started and with a vague destination in mind.


~ by ftfagos on November 2, 2011.

3 Responses to “Of Stars and Gods”

  1. The problem you had seeing Cassiopeia when viewing it directly is due to the region of the retina which gives the best sharpness and colour having almost no rods in it. These rods work well at low light levels, the colour-sensitive cones need more light. So, you can see faint stars best when you do not look at them directly. I find the Pleiades or Seven Sisters show this effect very well.
    This area is what you normally use for looking at objects of interest but it acts as a blind spot at low light levels. It is called forea centralis. Google is your friend for more details on it:-)

  2. Didn’t I say something like that…ish! Oh the wonders of Google, thanks anyway Nick…well as long as you didn’t use that entirely reliable and completely factual source known as Wickipedia. Not!


  3. So where are you!!!! And what have you been up too????

    This was an odd ramble from you… Interesting to say the least, and I agree. I miss the days a little before google and before the internet was so widely used where when you hav ea question you had to actually think, visit the Library, ask around, talk to the experts… Now the answer is just before your eyes.

    You’ve found a mystery! Hold onto it! they don’t happen every day!!!

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