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The Gift

I was so happy that my mom was feeling better today and wanted to go the Fine Arts Center free day. We looked up the current exhibitions and found one that sounded interested called, “The Gift”. This is the description:

As scientists and artists, we are all observers of the world. We are all interpreters and storytellers,” said Dr. Gosnell. “We hope people leave this experience feeling a closer connection to the universe and with an understanding that the story of science belongs to all of us. We can build a more welcoming world from the stories we tell.”

The Gift is an immersive installation that animates contemporary astrophysics research to open up metaphorical space for grief, care, and renewal. In this experience, participants enter a music-filled reading room, where they encounter an all-ages illustrated book—based on the astrophysics research of Dr. Natalie Gosnell, Assistant Professor of Physics at Colorado College—that invites responses both tactile and emotional. This book tells the story of two stars that are so close to one another yet so far from us that they appear as a single point of light in the sky. Their fates are intertwined; one star, at the end of its life, transfers its material to the companion, allowing the companion to burn brighter and to appear—for a moment—younger, brighter, bluer. This tender story and playful experience heeds the call of anthropologist Emily Martin, to “wake the sleeping metaphors of science.”

As described, my mom and I entered the room and found a couple of tables set up with the books. We slowly read through the pages that included words and interesting geometric pictures. The story explained how a dying star will give what it is made of to the nearby star which will burn brighter and hotter. It then encouraged the reader to ponder what that would look like for people. At first, it was a disturbing thought. But then, I remembered before we left my mom said the exhibition would likely appeal to my space-loving father. While not in a physical way, my dad did impart who he was at his core to his family. We all keep our eyes to the sky, love taking interesting photos, and appreciate the beauty of nature. Perhaps we “burn brighter” with the gifts he left for us. When we left that area, we came across another display encouraging the participant to step into the light. There were cards with questions on them from the book and a spotlight shining on the wall. I stepped into the light and entertained mom a bit with my giant shadows. Then I put her wheelchair in the light so she could make shadows as well. I thought the display was intriguing and it did certainly make me reflect. It was a good day.

I Found God today in the gift.

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