We have an abundance of starry nights here.
Consider what came out of this region. Three religions, truck loads of philosophers, astronomy, poetry that is so stunningly beautiful and rich you want to cry, a thousand and one nights, epics, literature, the alphabet, all in the era of no electricity, and starry nights. Great accomplishments credited to our Arab and Mediterranean region. Let’s trace it, Greece, Egypt, the Levant, Italy, Spain, Jerusalem (I singled it out on purpose so as not to go into the abyss of the endless debate), Lebanon (it has to be in a category on its own, because I’m biased and I have poetic license).
Here’s my theory. Long ago, before there was electricity (for Lebanon it is still a modern day thing) and before the proliferation of those back-lit screens we all carry, and the dumb box we call TV, in this region where on over 300 days a year one is faced with a clear night sky, people tended to look up, they star gazed, and they thought, and they dreamt, and they became creative.
The problem of the present day lack of creativity and the severe shortage of talent in this part of the World is brought about by our inability to connect with the stars, to blast open our horizon. We have become prisoners of light. Humorless, colorless, flightless, tasteless, hypnotized androids in front of a screen, forgetting who we are, failing to notice what a speck we all are compared to what is out there, to the huge limitless possibilities that are and will always be.
We are the Dodo birds of our modern times, racing to be extinct, obese, unimaginative, greedy, violent, gluttonous, slow, limited. Where are we from where we were hundreds of years back, when we thought so much, when we dreamt so much, when we loved so much, when we wrote so much, and when we enjoyed our simpler lives so much? Who are we now? To what do we aspire? Where is the edge of our collective imagination? Should we even have an edge, a limit?
Go out, away from the bulbs wasting electricity we can’t sustain, drive to a deserted place, light a candle, lie on your back, look up at the stars, let yourself drift, see where your thoughts take you. Go again, and again. See what happens. Reconnect with what is so much bigger than the mundane, what is larger than all of us, the majestic, the vast, the wonderful, the creative, the most powerful of all, our own mind.