Mallory McInnis spends most of her time on the Internet amassing awesome things to share on her blog, Gems. She lives in Maine (the woodsy, Stephen King-book-setting part, not by the ocean) and drives all over New England looking for vintage books to sell in her shop, Elwood & Eloise. She’s happiest when sipping an iced coffee, wearing a robe and watching a movie (or reading a book), with a sandwich on a plate beside her.
There’s an episode of Friends where Rachel is at the obstetrician getting an ultrasound and she can’t see the baby. Ross and the doctor helpfully (and repeatedly) attempt to show it to her, but she still can’t find it.
This goes on and on.
Rachel has an inability to see fetus-Emma in the blurry muddle of her ultrasound photo, just as I have an inability to make out a single constellation in the night sky. I suppose not being able to see your gestating baby is a little more distressing, but still! You get the idea.
It’s almost summer, I live in a totally smog-free zone. Stargazing conditions are ideal, yet it doesn’t help. You could stand beside me connecting the celestial dots with your finger for an hour, but you’d just end up frustrated because I only see a beautiful mess of lights.
Thankfully, I’m quite a bit better at finding items on Etsy than I am at finding constellations, so I put together a bunch of wonderful constellation-inspired items.
[Clockwise from top left: Clementine crab print by tinyfawn; Vintage Sartre book from NewDocuments; Bear necklace by finestimaginary; Constellation onesie by Little Lark; Ursa Major print by HileyRemarkable; Scorpius pin from CacheAvenue; Golden Scorpion book from UnusualBooks; Dragon print by Paul Bommer; Dominoes from Red Star Vintage; Dragon onesie by EarthCadets; Gemini ring by Julie Nolan Jewelry; Ceramic lion from MonkiVintage; Zodiac Cancer card by MARGINS.]
If I think about it, this ineptitude may be some sort of mental block my brain set up as a favor. I can count the amount of nightmares I remember having on one hand, but one of those just so happens to involve constellations (to be specific: getting ingested by them).
The exact details have faded a bit, but as it began I was wandering around the sky on some sort of “Let’s Meet the Constellations!” tour. Things quickly went sour and I ended up being chased by a bunch of starry creatures that wanted to eat me (and did). Look at all these guys! Cancer, Leo, Scorpius, Ursa major, Draco — it’s a scary crew, and with all those teeth, claws and stingers I had no chance.
[Clockwise from top left: Gemini mug from WestCoastModern; Ceramic ram from MonkiVintage; Stuffed goat toy from BabyTweeds; Taurus sticker from MarysBeadsandGems; Ram print by smalladventure; Taurus ashtray from OrbitingDebris; Taurus card by Leah Greenberg; Articulated Pegasus by benconservato.]
I had the dream when I was in high school, but before that I associated constellations with happy memories. We learned about the constellations in 3rd grade at my elementary school, and the unit involved visiting a planetarium and putting on a play (I was Pollux – one of the Gemini twins). Plays, planetariums…originally my constellation thoughts were pleasant ones.
[Clockwise from top left: Hare tote by Libris Lunaria; Cygnus original illustration by Megan Bentley; Cassiopeia pin by Minini; Vintage crown brooch from Diana Divine Vintage; Pisces bowl by SweetGoodsNYC; Archer print by Jessica Rae Gordon; Arrow hat by Zipper Teeth Shop; Arrow pouch by SlideSideways; Fish tea towel by Karolin Schnoor; Leaping hare tea cozy by Megan Ferguson-Smyth; Rabbit head earrings by elainehostudio; Queen salt shaker at MidModMom.]
I go camping every summer. This year, when night falls, I’ll try to push all traumatic constellation memories aside and attempt to pick out a few. Maybe I’ll start with Pisces; it is my zodiac sign, after all (and a fish probably wouldn’t try to eat me).
If you’re an expert at constellation detection, feel free to leave some tips; I’ll probably need them.