Sunday September 25, 2022 — Brooklyn, New York

Summer was long, clear, beautiful. I was learning to starwatch; that is when you lie down outside on the open hills in the dry season at night, and find a certain star in the eastern sky, and watch it cross the sky till it sets. You can look away, of course, to rest your eyes, and doze, but you try to keep looking back at the star and the stars around it, until you feel the earth turning, until you become aware of how the stars and the world and the soul move together. After the certain star sets you sleep until dawn wakes you. Then as always you greet the sunrise with aware silence.

— Ursula K. Le Guin, Solitude

I went up to Wassaic for this — it’s a few hours away on the train, and plenty remote. The forest there has no human paths, just as forests should be.

I arrived an hour before sundown, and ended up finding a suitable spot just as the sun was setting. More trees than I’d like, but enough of a view.

The stars move astonishingly quickly, if you pay attention — you don’t need to wait long, it feels as though you could see the movement if you slowed down your thoughts just enough. Maybe I’m fooling myself, but it seems you really can feel the Earth spinning.

I’m still not as comfortable as I’d like to be in the east coast forests — I felt exposed in just my sleeping bag, listening to the wolves howl, in a way that I don’t in California. I think with time, that comfort will come.