I bought the wall-sized poster to bring some twinkly fun to my home office. It’s a 4×6 foot view of the famous star cluster, and the otherworldly colors and light fascinate me.
But sitting next to the massive dark mural, I felt like I was falling into a black hole and had to grip my ergonomic armrests for support. I needed a little distance from deep space. Luckily, I married a space junkie who was totally fine with plastering the universe across the far wall of our living room.
That I’m totally fine with it was an understatement. When my son was 6 years old, I spent a whole week arranging plastic glow-in-the-dark stars on his bedroom ceiling in an accurate representation of the night sky. Astronomy is something I have always loved—one of my Aspie Special Interests.
One of the markers for Asperger’s Syndrome is a tireless devotion to a specific subject. I’ve had a long trail of Special Interests in my life — from astronomy to fish keeping to origami to bonsai to classical music (my profession) to carnivorous plants to my current obsession with the ukulele, the banjo and music of the 1920s.
For me, the universe represents something fixed, something stable and reliable—all qualities that I find in short supply with the ephemeral nature of day-to-day life. If I look up at the sky, the Pleiades will always be there, in its usual place—like an old, loyal friend.
I was a little disappointed when Linda put down her compass and told me that the feng shui situation in the west was all wrong for star murals and we’d have to find a more auspicious spot.
Our search for a place for the universe continues.
©2012 Tom & Linda Peters