Sports Night, Ep. 18

The Sword of Orion

There’s a lot of great stuff on Orion, the God and also the constellation. Most people only see the belt, which is formed by Delta, Epsilon and Zeta, three second magnitude stars that are equally spaced in a straight line. Beneath the belt is a line of fainter stars and of these stars, Theta isn’t really a star at all. It’s actually the brightest part of the Orion nebula. So this great pink star in the sword of Orion turns out to be something far more…complicated and interesting.  
-Jeremy Goodwin

As a child, I always wanted a telescope. For my eleventh birthday, I received one that I still own today, but I never used it as much as I thought that I would. Come to think of it, I never looked at Orion or any other constellations, for that matter. I only looked at the moon; it was easy to find.

I wonder, how many therapists practice like I once star-gazed? How many look at the moon for it’s craters and topography, but neglect the stars. How many look up from their telescopes focused on the moon to glance (with their bare eyes) at Orion and his sword? How many believe they see a star in the sword? How many understand that they are really looking at something altogether different? How many would turn their telescope toward the constellation to seek an explanation that is more complicated and interesting? How many return to work the next day to have 8 out of every 10 patients with low back pain repeat one prone extension after another with increasing application of over-pressure?

This evening, I am glad that I still have that telescope. On the next crystal clear night in an Upstate New York sky, I plan to seek out that “great pink star” and discover what a nebula looks like.

Until that night, however, I will read some more


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