Where Is Your North Star?
Each of us surely needs a North Star. As the world keeps spinning around us. As the deadlines begin to hunt us. As our anxiety begins to grow on us. As the noise starts to deafen us
It was there before there were satellites.
Before there were radars. Before there was the short wave radio. Before there were weather forecasts. Before there were binoculars (though there were spy glasses). Before there were cell phones (yes there was a time).
So when a ship made its way across the stormy sea and the sky seemed black as ink. When the captain at the helm tried to control the steering wheel. And the crew thought all was lost one cry would be shouted aloud as someone climbed up the ladder to look above the waves.
“Find the North Star!”
The fact is that the North Star is famous for holding nearly still in our sky while the entire northern sky moves around it. That’s because it’s located nearly at the north celestial pole, the point around which the entire northern sky turns.
No wonder it was described as aei phanes – ‘always there’ – by the Greeks.
The North Star helps you find your way.
It gives you direction when there seems none.
When a storm is blowing in your mind it gives you a light to calm you.
Now tell me.
Where is your North Star?
Actually in today’s age maybe the question is broader than that.
What is your North Star?
In a world where images seem to pass by at the speed of light. Where the glowing screen of your phone spews out a hundred images an hour. Where you swipe away ten men a minute as you search on Tinder. Where your Facebook feed moves so fast that you forget who said what when. Where there are so many Whatsapp groups that the moment you turn away there are 100 new messages.
In a world where everything is moving, shifting, melting, changing, sliding, flipping, what is still? And is that your North Star?
Is it an image?
Is it a poem? Is it a Guru?
Is it a thought? Is it a memory?
Is it a philosophy?
Is it a combination of all these?
Each of us surely needs a North Star. As the world keeps spinning around us. As the deadlines begin to hunt us. As our anxiety begins to grow on us. As the noise starts to deafen us.
As we are together, then alone.
As we feel it is possible, then it’s not.
As when we’re in control, then we lose it.
As we are steady, then giddy.
The North Star has to have the ability to shine through all of these. It has to be clear enough to focus us. Bright enough to find us. Near enough to comfort us.
Yet far enough to guide us.
I’ve been lucky with my North Star.
It’s 171 centimetres. Very bright and very calm. Very pure and very true.
And often next to me when the night is dark and still.
Yeah, I married my North Star!