(Video link HERE.) Over the many years we’ve known artist, naturalist and radio astronomer Tom Ashcraft, he has been quietly, patiently, closely observing the world through microscopes, night vision cameras, audio recorders, telescopes and the special cameras he keeps trained on the sky to record rare atmospheric events. His documentation of fleeting emanations of cosmic light called sprites from his All Sky Observatory in New Mexico has gained him high regard in the scientific community and a good deal of press, as has his art.
Beginning my studies, the first step pleas’d me so much,
The mere fact, consciousness—these forms—the pow-
er of motion,
The least insect or animal—the senses—eyesight;
The first step, I say, aw’d me and pleas’d me so much,
I have never gone, and never wish’d to go, any farther,
But stop and loiter all my life, to sing it in ecstatic songs.
I think that guided Whitman in his loving acceptance of the cosmos.
…So, if you wanted to bring it back to art, or singing, or poetics, or natural inquiry, there’s a great feeling of love that I have in all these studies. That’s a byproduct, and a blessing.
It’s an engagement with the world, just this blooming, buzzing…this phenomena, this stuff of the cosmos. Why are we here? Why are there these forms?
We’re alive. This is what we experience. From there, it’s the mystery.