Thursday, February 11, 2010


one of the things on my "accomplish in this lifetime" checklist is seeing the aurora borealis, or northern lights. i'm not sure why i'm so obsessed with this natural phenomenon, but i think it's because, for me, the aurora are comprised of one of my favorite combinations: science and romanticism. (my undergrad thesis was about this very topic. have you ever read nathaniel hawthorne's "the artist of the beautiful"? you should.)

i really like things that put me in my place, especially when those things come from nature. things that make me sit back and say, "wow, i am a tiny speck in the universe of this life i'm living." the beach on a foggy day does that for me. so does driving through the mountains at night and glancing down at homes that are lit from within and look like dollhouses. and i think having those moments makes you appreciate everything else so much more, which is why i like the idea of seeing the aurora--because i feel like they're so far outside the realm of anything i've experienced before that they'll change my life a little. (see? i romanticize everything. and like i said, i like it when nature puts me in my place.)

have you ever seen the northern lights in person? was it as breathtaking an experience as i imagine?

{ image via here }


  1. how funny
    i was just reading a post on norway
    i have always wanted to visit my great grandfather's homeland to travel through its breathtaking vistas up to the majestic aurora.
    i love your romanticising of it - i'm absolutely certain it would change your life a little.
    p.s. do you have a quote from 'the artist of the beautiful'. bit difficult to find here!

  2. oh, how cool that your great grandfather is from norway! i hope you get to see the northern lights someday, too. :)

    and here is a link to "the artist of the beautiful": a great quote:

    "when the artist rose high enough to achieve the beautiful, the symbol by which he made it perceptible to mortal senses became of little value in his eyes while his spirit possessed itself in the enjoyment of the reality."