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Friday, April 22, 2011

"When you are old and gray and full of sleep..."

When you are old and gray and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars. -- W.B. Yeats

This mystical and elegiac poem by William Butler Yeats speaks of unrequited love, but has always spoken to me about the power of love and its mysterious embrace. Last Sunday we went out with the Boyarskys, Shmuel and Sharon, and it was very obvious they were so much in love with each other (the second time is the charm). We picked them up from the Bereshit Hotel, its first night open, and went up to our observing plateau. The moon was full, and the sky was filled with light. What a special night.

Sharon wanted to see Arcturus, a very yellow star and one of the brightest in the sky, through the telescope. Perhaps it was the light of the moon or the high cirrus clouds the star's light passed through, but I have never seen a star look so topaz through the telescope. It looked like a shinning gemstone. All the better since topaz is Sharon's birth stone and one her father, in the gem business, used to frequently give her on her birthday.

The Boyarskys, Sharon and Shmuel

We can't promise you love, but we can give you the moon and a crowd of stars.

The Boyarskys capture the elusive Starman of Mitzpe Ramon, seen here under a full moon.

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