There are certain constants in life. Here are a few of them:
A mullet is never a good idea.
People of any race, creed or sexuality will bleed when cut. If they are hemophiliacs, they will bleed more.
It is generally not a good idea to become too involved with any grown man who still goes by a little boy name like Stewie (unless he's Johnny Depp - Johnny Depp could call himself Frieda and still be hot).
There are, however, constants that are even more impressive because of the way in which they link us all together. For example, the same sun that shines on me warms people half a world a away. The same gorgeously full moon that accompanied my drive home a couple weeks ago is the same one that shone down on my weird cousin and aunt (who don't speak, by the way...well, they speak, just not to each other) in Berlin, other friends in Germany and the UK, and the most charming, lovable man I have ever met, who unfortunately resides in Switzerland. I've always loved this idea, because it makes me feel like maybe they are not so far away after all. Even if we don't see each other as much as I would like, we can share the pleasure of gazing at the same stars and wondering at the vastness of the same universe.
It's no wonder that the planets have been venerated by myth, legend and art throughout history. One of my favorite poems is called Mondnacht (Moon Night) It is by Joseph von Eichendorff, a German Romantic poet. When I read it, it makes me wish that everyone could read German. While the language is not as melodic as Italian or as romantic as French, I don't think anyone could read or hear the poem and find the language harsh (especially not if s/he understands it). It is typically Romantic, filled with nature and opening with the image of the sky (presumably via the moonlight, which is never directly mentioned) kissing the earth, making it dream of him. But she doesn't only dream of him. Oh no, she does it in the shimmer of blossoms.
When I read Eichendorff's lines, I can picture the scene. I don't remember a time when I didn't know them. More like prayer than a poem, it has always made me feel peaceful. It makes me feel similar to the way I feel when I look at the Sülamith Wülfing sketch, Der Schutzgeist. Even as a girl I liked it. Since then I have come to associate the poem with my father. As he was dying, its lines kept whispering through my head, especially the last part, which talks about the soul spreading its wings, flying across the quiet countryside, as though flying home. Not being particularly religious in any traditional sense, it somehow seemed apt at the time.
Es war, als hätt der Himmel
Die Erde still geküßt,
Daß sie im Blütenschimmer
Von ihm nun träumen müßt.
Die Luft ging durch die Felder,
Die Ähren wogten sacht,
Es rauschten leis die Wälder,
So sternklar war die Nacht.
Und meine Seele spannte
Weit ihre Flügel aus,
Flog durch die stillen Lande,
Als flöge sie nach Haus.