Ursa Major

It's a beautiful clear sharp night with a covering of frosted snow. It's one of those nights when all of the stars and constellations are clearly visible. I always remember how as a kid my North facing bedroom window used to perfectly frame Ursa Major or "The Great Bear" at about this time of year. That most familiar and majestic of Northern constellations (sometimes also known as The Plough or Big Dipper) still has an oddly melancholic mystery about it for me. I don't quite now why that is . I think most of my generation that spent their early formative years during the peak of the 1960's "space age" has a special romantic awareness of the night sky which is quite different from that of other generations..something which stems from a direct association with the zeitgeist of the era and a quality of tangible mystery oddly conflated with a dispassionate scientific realisation of the cold, timeless, quality of the void. That essence so effectively articulated in Kubrick's 2001.

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