You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant’s fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
— The Old Astronomer (To His Pupil)
i think its hard to fully comprehend how important the last two lines of this stanza are to me.
obviously, there’s the astronomy aspect, the one supernatural element i cling onto for support and guidance. in the absence of religion, i turn my faith to the slightly more tangible aspect of the world — that of gas and liquid held together by will and gravity. the stars will always hold some sense of awe to me, the comforting notion that i am, and hence my impact is, but a tiny speck with no real consequence and no real finality from a otherworldly perspective.
but other than the obvious astronomy involvement, the duality of the quote — that we love the things other fear, or the things that may eminently or presently hurt us can still be loved anyway — hits me somewhere deep. not gonna lie, i was introduced this quote by a larry stylinson video, but it amazes me how well these two sentence capture the complicated feeling of being closeted and internal homophobia. i have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night? the stars are the love i feel, the quickening of the hummingbird pace of my heart i sense, the involuntary quirk of my cheeks that lift the right side of my lips a tad higher than my resting left, the stars are the valves clamped around my chest, my hindbrain, down deep in the heat of my body, the stars are the catalysts that trigger their united, grasping action. the stars is the joy you feel loving, and being loved. the night is the black, inky mess pressing down on you when someone enquires pressingly about which nice young fella you’re seeing, pressing further and further till your vision is a shade of nothing and your heart is kicking up a desperate panic from being claustrophobic. the night is the sensation of scratchy concrete on your back from being backed and backed and backed into it by society’s touching concerns of why are you still single? let me introduce you to a nice young man, of look at you, with your nice long locks, you have a face too pretty to be wasted! find a partner quick, and procreate. the night is the omnipresent fear that looms large, that makes you make plan upon back up plans in the anxiety shrouded dark. i have lived a life of fear and worry in large part thanks to my sexuality but the mere possibility of feeling the overwhelming encompassing happiness another human being can give me? it makes it all kinda worth it. worth bearing with. i have loved loving you too fondly to be fearful of their judgement, i can say, to a imaginary you with an imaginary face feeling the improbably happiness in the warmths on the tips of my fingers.
and if i don’t end up paired? if i end up untwined, as i am presently, with just me, a job, and a dog on the side? then there will be no need to tell anybody of the stars anyways. there will be no need to hand society the heat-seeking gun with my exact body temperature coded in. i will keep the gem carved knife to myself, hold it close, close to my heart, so no one can take it from where it resides to stab exactly where it resides. i will not give society both the weaponry and the justification to engage it if the stars don’t shine overhead of me. though my soul will set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light.
i don’t know. i have a lot of emotions about this quote. and a lot of emotions about being queer. i guess i wanted to share the love i have for these two beautiful lines somehow somewhere, and this was where.