Obsessed With Galileo

Galileo's sketch of stars

Galileo's sketch of stars

Galileo followed his heart and soul's calling. Explored his interests and his passions. AND...
he had manuscripts...
aka art journals--that's what I like to call them. {approval from official studiers of antiquity not required}

This image is a sketch that he made of what he viewed one evening in the night sky.

I would love to have known Galileo. For some reason, I have a recent obsession with him. Whenever my awareness keeps returning to a particular something...a person, a place, a topic...I just follow it. It seems right to follow the bread crumbs. Usually it's significant. And, it's just fun, and make me feel all tingly and happy to follow something just because I want to.

OK, if I can use my imagination here for a minute to travel back in time...(you see, I recently took a Make Belief course with Mandy Steward over at her ImagineNation{{www.mandysteward.com}} and I'm still enjoying an amplified use of my imagination). 

I imagine that I would probably have to convince Galileo to talk to me somehow because he's likely not going to pay attention to a woman coming up to him in the streets of Italy in the mid-1600's. Maybe I could sneak my iPhone back in time with me. That'd get his attention. I would begin the conversation with asking to see his telescope (in fluent Italian) because I would like to see the craters on the moon using his original. Assuming this goes well, he would then let me look over his manuscripts and watch as he mapped the stars in Orion. I can see the whole thing now...him eagerly putting his eye to his telescope for the first viewing and gasping as his heart raced with excitement. Then pausing to sketch out what he sees. Into the night he watches the magnified moon through his lens, and draws what his eyes see.

He must have certainly found the stars beautiful as we do. I wonder if he would lie down flat on his back on the ground and just look up at the night sky?

Moon sketch by me

Moon sketch by me

Back to his art journals. And it's not that I really think Galileo had what he called an "art journal" but I do think he was a scientist/mathematician/astronomer/truth-seeker/brave-human who saw beauty and wonder in the world and chose to follow his heart, his divine inclinations, his dreams...Besides a math lover, truth seeker, son of a musician, he was also an art journal-er :) apparently. A life document-er. Visual chronicle-er.

He wanted to understand life. And it seems to me he followed his interests passionately.

He chose to study motion. Who knows what spark of curiosity first caused him to embark on this journey. To understand in detail the mechanics of how things move and in relationship to other things...mechanics of motion. Of course there were those that didn't quite appreciate his insistence that yes, indeed, the planets went around our sun. But, he still followed the inclinations of his soul despite the Inquisition. And this is what's so amazing about him. Not his genius or his mental persistence...I would say it's his heart, his ability to see his life as his own and not through the eyes of others.

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."
-Galileo

 

Moon sketch by Galileo (early 1600's) “It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon.” 

Moon sketch by Galileo (early 1600's) “It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon.” 

page from my art journal (February 2013)

page from my art journal (February 2013)

“Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.”
— Galileo
Moon found on the sidewalk

Moon found on the sidewalk

Julie Rhem