M31: Andromeda

Andromeda. Just the word alone evokes a sense of mystery and strangeness.

Imagine, the closest major spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way. What resides there? How many of those stars have habitable planets orbiting them, swirling in the spiral arms of our cosmic neighbor?

Ever since I was a child, I have been obsessed with this galaxy. At one point in my life, I gave strong consideration to changing my name to Andromeda.

Looking back, I’m kind of glad I didn’t do that.

While writing my novel, Velvet, I fell into that sacred space that writers sometimes find themselves in…that space where something outside (or is it inside) of themselves takes over and does the writing:

“I entered my private little space, shut the door and then turned on my computer. The Mac fired up in a matter of seconds and the screen glowed with an image of the Andromeda galaxy.” ~ Velvet Riverstone in the first chapter of my novel Velvet.

Even in my novel, Andromeda makes an appearance.

What is it that keeps me spellbound?

Is it the stark beauty of a spiral galaxy?

Is it the knowledge that way out there exists another “Milky Way” doing it’s thing, rotating and moving through the universe on its way to no one knows where?

Is it the fact that our closest galactic cousin is approximately a whopping 2.5 million light years away? That fact alone is mind-boggling to say the least.

Or could it be just a simple, primordial knowing that there is much, so much, more to life than what we experience in our regular everyday lives on this planet?

I’m not sure, but I do know that as long as I live I will keep one foot on the ground and one hand reaching to the heavens.

Oh to pluck a star from the sky. May I one day bathe my soul in stardust.

Photo credit: apod.nasa.gov

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