Orion and Being Upside Down


A globe, surrounded by crudely-drawn humans or even just stick figures: we all probably saw an image like this in a classroom somewhere – probably in elementary school. I was able to steal this one from Google images pretty easily. I remember thinking it was so silly that it pictured some of the folks as upside down…

A few nights ago when I was out with a friend looking at stars and I realized I could see the constellation Orion. Okay, this was actually back in June and I just forgot to write about it until now. Remember the week I was a janitor? It was that week.

I’ve always sought out Orion in the night sky. At my mom’s house growing up it would appear almost perfectly above the driveway as I walked to school every morning. I found strength in looking for Orion every time I went outside.

It took me a few moments to notice it, but something was different about the Orion I was seeing from McMurd; it was showing in the night sky as upside down!

So. Weird.

In that moment this image popped into my head of all the little stick figure children standing around the world with the ones in the south as upside down.

It’s such a silly, simple concept… but I don’t think it every kicked in at the moment the full scope of what it means for the world to be round. To see the sky from a different angle was flabbergasting. Whenever I’ve traveled in the past I’ve stayed in the northern hemisphere and not a huge range at that.

I had to stop for a moment and just stare at the sky with my jaw dropped a bit. Then I closed it again because I have sensitive teeth and it was the dead of winter in Antarctica.

I mean, I know the world is round. I’ve been told that since I was old enough to know what the world round meant. But it’s like saying “a billion billion” grains of rice. You know that is a lot. You know it’s more than you’ve probably ever seen in one place… but you can’t really conceptualize the whole picture. Standing under the stars with my fellow janitor next to a closed helicopter pad at the base of a small mountain looking out over a frozen sea I was able to picture just for a moment those billion billion.

I’m probably too winterbrained at the moment to fully verbalize what I mean to say here but I’m going to work under the assumption you’re picking up what I’m laying down.

Anyways. Thought I would share.

I’m going to miss the stars. I think I saw them for the last time earlier this week….. It will be 139 days until I see them again.

“And I am lost, so lost… where are the constellations that guide me?”

– Enter Shikari, “Constellations”



(post image source)


    1. Thank you, Kathy! I’ve updated it a little bit since you first commented… I was a more little scatterbrained earlier. Hopefully the edits help a little.


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