Flaming Star Nebula shot in Hong Kong

Praying under Shooting Star

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore

In a sea of static stars, there are ones that fly in bullet speed

Sometimes you can make more of an impact by blending in than sticking out. You don’t need to be the center of attention to be making the best of your life on Earth. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we have to be inherently special to be important when that just isn’t true.

🌠I used to believe that praying on shooting stars would make my dreams come true 🌠I blame all of the TV soap operas I watched as a kid. There was the promise of miracles and happiness at the end of every protagonist’s line while a shooting star was blazing overhead. Who wouldn’t want to realize their dreams?

Sometimes, I would sit close to the window after nightfall, patiently waiting to see one burst across the sky.

Every night I would wait……and wait……and wait to no avail.

In a sky heavily polluted by light, my chances of catching the rare occurrence of a shooting star were slim, but I was too young to realize I was waiting in vain.

Eventually, I grew tired of waiting and gave up. No wishes were ever made on shooting stars🔭

Life moves faster than you think 🤔

Growing up is an irreversible process with pieces of memories buried deep in the brain. I couldn’t recall these episodes of waiting for a shooting star made up my childhood until the last astro-photography session.

“Did you see it?” I asked my astro-photography coach.

“Yes, that’s a shooting star.”

“How come it disappears in the blink of an eye if it were a shooting star?”, I pressed on in utter disbelief. I would have never dreamt of viewing a shooting star in the city where I live.

When I finally saw my first shooting star, it was gone in the blink of an eye. This magical wish-granting chunk of space particulate that we’ve all been told to trust with our most intimate wishes and desires disappear in seconds. It blew my mind. How do we build up such a fairytale-esque idea around something so short-lived? We grow up thinking these magical moments last significantly longer than they do. Is that because we become more cynical and don’t care as we age?

Years of wisdom can erase the magic of our imaginations

As an artist, I think I live somewhere between childish wonder and adult knowledge.Many sightings of shooting stars only last for an instant. Millions of meteors enter the Earth’s atmosphere daily in any region, but they aren’t always able to be seen. My favorite may be the occurrence of meteor showers. A myriad of meteors radiates from a particular sky point that lasts a few hours. The pictures of the meteor showers take my breath away, and I only hope I can bring my gear to shoot the best images when the time comes.

Astro-photography has redefined my life, unlocked endless wonders, and made me treasure each day more for as long as I live. From solar and lunar eclipses the transits of inner planets, meteor showers, etc., there are so many astronomical events that I want to document for the people in my generation and the generations to come. My astrographs will serve as evidence of the technological progress of civilians’ astro-photography in the early 21st century.

Wishes never truly fade away

My forgotten and unrealized childhood wishes often come to me in quiet waves. Never loud enough to keep me awake, they cautiously tiptoe their way to me and creep into my mind. I still consider myself lucky, even if the individual shooting star I saw did not leave behind a long spectacular trail. Meteors often can’t stay long because the vapor trail’s heated and ionized atmospheric gases cool and disperse quickly. While they appear white to the naked eye, these trails are various colors depending on their chemical compositions when photographed. If it lasted longer while venturing across the sky, I might be able to know the primary chemical component of a particular shooting star. An encounter with a shooting star is a once-in-a-lifetime event. The vapor trail can only be ignited once, and the meteor will either meet the end of its’ fate in space or fall on the Earth’s surface as a meteoroid, never to fly through the depths of space again.

Mortals and meteors

All mortal beings are like shooting stars, blazing through the sky for a brief moment before vanishing into the void. Some meteors linger long enough for humans to take pictures, yet none can control the dispersion rate of the ionized atmospheric gases. Most of them won’t make their names to the history of humankind, but a portion of the night sky is brightened at the very moment they appear. Only a few of us leave our names in the history books, and I wonder whether something so short-lived could impact the universe.

There was a point in time when I asked Google, “why are we here on Earth?” Oddly enough, only the websites on Christianity could provide plausible answers. Maybe it is such a difficult question because we underestimate our human capabilities. If we are the only beings on Earth who can do what we do, why do we feel we are limited?

Time and again, we reach the crossroads, trying to figure out where to go. We allow mortality to steer us in directions that don’t utilize our full potential. Choosing this path means foregoing the opportunities on that path, and so on.

Existence is more than what is seems

Why are we here if only to do the bare minimum?

These junctures force those who wish to understand themselves better to find the purposes in life and fill in the missing piece. It’s like finding a compass when sailing under the dark sky. As humans, we are feeble. Those who decide to end their lives early often feel that their lives are empty and don’t seem to realize there are things beyond their control.

We have no idea when the sinister rulers will wage wars on other countries when a natural disaster strikes or another pandemic hits. The inability to control these issues should not deprive us of the excitement of seeing where we will stand in 5 years’ or making plans to achieve our goals. The atmospheric gases of the shooting stars are burnt out when they hit the Earth’s atmosphere but shine as bright as they can in the milliseconds they exist. They aren’t here to be unnoticed.

Don’t live your life in fear of what you could be. Burn bright and beautiful in everything that you do.

Check out the blog post “Boundaries of Art

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