Reaching for the Stars

During these winter evenings, the zodiac sign of Aries rises in the east—three stars in the shape of a flattened hook. The constellation is easy to find now because Jupiter is moving just below it. So, here’s a question for you: Can you experience the curve of Aries’ three stars? Picture the stars in your mind and try to clearly form the angles made by the stars. Can you do it? Reaching for the stars seems absurd, but it’s not. This small exercise can encourage us to feel the constellation with our eyes and experience its body. In fact, the constellations are not just points of light that are connected to form lines; they also have a corporeality, a “body-ness” [Leiblichkeit] that can reveal itself across distances with our eyes’ “sense of touch.” Though the constellation of Aries is rather small, it is firm and unshakeable. Aquarius in the south is quite different. Here, a sprawling, vast form stands in the heavens, an elastic starry body. Matthias Girke spoke in his lecture about the starry side of the “I”. Reaching for the stars with our eyes may help us gain a picture of this cosmic side of the self.

Translation Joshua Kelberman
Photo Xue Li

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