I am a recovering agoraphobic. This means that I've been scared/anxious of wide open spaces. Imagine how much you have to work on sedating yourself in order to ignore the fact that we are surrounded by this vast open space: the universe, at all times. Talk about running away!
But, like I said--I am recovering. Here is part of my daily dose of reality: the Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Breathtaking, isn't it?
I have always been fascinated by space, despite my fear. How could one not be? Now, I've recently begun my astronomy studies from the original series of Star Trek (www.startrek.com). Man, that show is genius! Ok, so possibly not the most trustworthy and current source for information on the universe. Especially being that it was made in the sixties.... But I'm taking babysteps, yo!
Seriously though, astronomy will be a lifetime project for me. I have an appetite for knowledge about it now, and I'll learn a little bit every day. The space gives me perspective to give myself time. To not be impatient, and try to be more than I am at any moment. There is a process to everything. Learning should/could really be a peaceful process and there is no strain or exertion needed. Knowledge and skill (and healing too) come with patience and an open and relaxed mind.
Here, I'd like to quote Rainer Maria Rilke. The following speaks of an artist, but it could apply to any human being:
"There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like a tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything!"