(Above) Book 144, Saturn and Antares in Early Morning Sky, 5 am, 21 February 2016, watercolor, graphite, and pen and in on Arches paper in bound volume, page size: 4 x 12"
Saturn and Antares
In the late winter, pre-dawn skies, I begin to see the red star Antares, the scorpion's heart, rise and drift slowly across my window. In a month and some weeks spring will arrive to fill in and hide this bright reddish star in foliage and sunrise (for more on this subject, see the earlier journal entry Antares Rising: Drawing Seasons.)
This year, Antares surprised me as it was followed by an equally bright companion. The two were about a hand’s-width apart measured with my arm outstretched. That second reddish spark wasn't a star, but the planet Saturn, and I began to follow the pair's drift westward on successive mornings. Somehow, I couldn’t help but try to endow the conjunction with some significance. It reminds me of how in earlier times a comet was taken as a harbinger, a messenger. The whole of astrology has its roots in divining meanings from astronomical movements.
But I don’t believe in such things.
What I do believe is that seeing this pairing will place a little benchmark at this point in my life. A buoy around which memories will cling. I’ll remember the drawings I was working on at the time. I’ll remember the losses. Right now, trees are being cut at the edge of the woods behind houses I've drawn for more than thirty years. I’ll see big changes from my window.
My work will continue. I don’t blame the star and the planet. But I will certainly associate the pairing of these two as they cross my window together this once in my lifetime.