Perseids Interlude, or: How I Contemplated the Universe and Got Viciously Gnawed-Upon by Mosquitoes

Tonight my dearest fellow and I got out and about to view the Perseid meteor shower. It was lovely.

We took snacks, listened to a nice mixture of cicadas and shoegazer tracks, and enjoyed the rather inappropriately chill evening air. If you’re from Texas or have been around during a Texas summer, you’ll understand why I call it inappropriate: anytime between March and November is naturally grossly hot and humid, but tonight I could have taken a light blanket and still enjoyed my PJs/not sweated to death. For anyone unacquainted with Texas, this Hyperbole and a Half will sum it up nicely.

When we eventually did head home around 1AM, I had a few welts from mosquitoes (proving that yes, it’s still Texas) and had experienced the wave of vaguely comforting insignificance that comes from staring at the night sky for too long. Luckily my existential experiences tend to lend themselves to intense relief rather than despair when I get broody about my nonexistent place in the universe.

For one, I start to care less about people liking my writing than actually finishing a book, and, for a time, divest myself of the need to please others. Since my worries over the quality of my writing seem to only make me second-guess myself into eternal editing and quibbling over diction and tone, I figure this is one preoccupation that, in some ways, I’m better off without.

I’m writing this fresh from my star-decked nest of contemplation out in the breezy countryside, mostly to remind myself and any others that find it helpful, that writing (and really any creative endeavor) should be pursued for its own sake. Others liking it will be a by-product of you doing something that you love enough to suffer for it. The validation of popularity would be nice, but if I can just finish something and leave my name on it for my kids and grandkids to enjoy or maybe get to know me a little better even after I’m gone, that will be enough for me.

The trick will be remembering this later when, as my Dad puts it, “the ineluctable voices of self-doubt” start chiming in. Hopefully this post will serve as a reminder to quit fussing and flat get it done.

For now, since I’m in a chin-stroking kind of mood, here’s a star nursery that looks like brain activity.

30 Doradus is the brightest star-forming region in our galactic neighbourhood and home to the most massive stars ever seen. The nebula resides 170 000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small, satellite galaxy of our Milky Way.


3 thoughts on “Perseids Interlude, or: How I Contemplated the Universe and Got Viciously Gnawed-Upon by Mosquitoes

  1. Sophie E Tallis says:

    Oh damn it! I KNEW there was something I was supposed to be doing last night! Knowing my luck it will be cloudy over here tonight…usually is when there’s something wonderful to watch in the night sky. Sounds like a lovely way to spend a few hours and a great ‘spring cleaning for the soul’ as it were. I know exactly what you mean about self-doubt (as I’m often wracked with it) and the need for validation. But you are right, at the end of the day, we’ve just got to do what makes us happy and if other people like it, well, that’s the icing, not the cake! 😀

    • Proseia says:

      I almost forgot about it too! Plus, we had just had rain (sweet, precious, unlikely rain) earlier in the day, but it was surprisingly clear of clouds when we got out there. Couldn’t quite escape the light pollution, but we could see the big ones. And on the one hand, I knew it was silly to write a post about apparently figuring out the meaning of life after two hours of stargazing (I mean, everyone feels that way after stargazing =P), but on the other hand, I did come home and get a huge bunch of work done with hammering out the kinks in my main story. I just stopped worrying and did it, even knowing I’ll have to go back and prune out the nonsense bits later. Such a good feeling!

      • Sophie E Tallis says:

        I think things like that can be totally inspirational and great for really getting the imagination and ‘juices’ flowing as it were. I’m getting ready to go out now. Cheers honey! 😀

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