On an Alaskan Sky

From wonder into wonder existence opens. (Lao Tzu, philosopher)

The sight filled the northern sky; the immensity of it was scarcely conceivable. As if from Heaven itself, great curtains of delicate light hung and trembled. Pale green and rose-pink, and as transparent as the most fragile fabric, and at the bottom edge a profound fiery crimson like the fires of Hell, they swung and shimmered loosely with more grace than the most skillful dancer. (Philip Pullman, “The Golden Compass”)

The northern cheek of the heavens,
By a sudden glory kissed,
Blushed to the tint of roses,
And hid in an amber mist,
And through the northern pathway,
Trailing her robe of flame,
The queenly Borealis
In her dazzling beauty came!
(May Riley Smith, “Aurora Borealis”)

O’er all the widespread northern skies,
How glows and waves that heavenly light,
Where dome, and arch, and column rise
Magnificently bright!
(Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch, “The Aurora Borealis”)

I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks. (Henry David Thoreau, author-poet-philosopher)

I’ve stood outside my house in Montana looking at the northern lights… crackling against the night sky. To me, that’s magic. (Christopher Paolini, author)

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On the Lights of Norway

Last week we traveled to Norway to look out and around – so this week we look up.

There are worlds beyond our own—the compass will show the way. (From “The Golden Compass”, movie 2007)

No sky Leila had seen before could compare to the beauty she was seeing above her. It didn’t feel like some accident of nature but rather something that was purposefully unleashed on the world. (Adi Alsaid, “Let’s Get Lost”)

The north! the north! from out the north
What founts of light are breaking forth,
And streaming up these evening skies,
A glorious wonder to our eyes!
(Hannah Flagg Gould, “The Aurora Borealis”)

For night’s swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora’s harbinger;
At whose approach ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to churchyards.
(William Shakespeare, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)

When I look at the northern lights … I see our ancestors dancing around a sacred fire, lighting the way for us when it’s time for us to cross over from this physical world and join them. (Molly Larkin, “What do the Northern Lights mean for us?”)

You cannot rob me of free nature’s grace,
You cannot shut the windows of the sky
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face.
(James Thomson, “Castle of Indolence”)

On Exploring an Uncontrollable Dance

Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself. (Annie Leibovitz, photographer)

For night’s swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora’s harbinger;
At whose approach ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to churchyards. (William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

The sight filled the northern sky; the immensity of it was scarcely conceivable. As if from Heaven itself, great curtains of delicate light hung and trembled. Pale green and rose-pink, and as transparent as the most fragile fabric, and at the bottom edge a profound fiery crimson like the fires of Hell, they swung and shimmered loosely with more grace than the most skillful dancer. (Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass)

The north! the north! from out the north
What founts of light are breaking forth,
And streaming up these evening skies,
A glorious wonder to our eyes!
(Hannah Flagg Gould, The Aurora Borealis)

When I look at the northern lights … I see our ancestors dancing around a sacred fire, lighting the way for us when it’s time for us to cross over from this physical world and join them. (Molly Larkin, What do the Northern Lights mean for us?)