A Christmas Constellation // Une constellation de Noël © Chant Wagner 2017
There are some areas in the world where you can still see the stars in the sky as if you could touch them with the tip of your fingers - nights there are are so clear and clean. Where most of the time stars remain invisible due to the atmospheric pollution, in some areas, like in the Kazakh steppe, you realize that nights are never uniform, blanket-like, but lit, shimmering, scintillating with an infinite number of pin-hole lights that suddenly wrap around you like a familiar and forgotten blanket...
It is as if you were living on a different earth, more ancient, when people feared the sky might fall on their heads. They had to look just above the roof level. The danger was clear.
I was reminded of that paradoxical impression of discovery of the awesome closeness of outer space and depth in a village in Central Asia when looking at this photograph of Christmas lights on display in my neighbourhood.
It is what humans get as penance for having obscured the heavens. It is a made-up, approximate starry night for urban dwellers.