Newtonian telescopes use a mirror to gather the light and then projects that light onto another mirror, which then projects the light through a magnifying eyepiece. If the mirrors are very poorly aligned, you won’t see anything at all. If they are perfectly collimated, you get the brightest, best image possible with your scope.
I have learned that I am an isolated sort of person. I am not very social. I do not have a lot of friends and lament that fact. But I do not do what is necessary in order to have many friends. I enjoy my isolation, while fret about being friendless. My mirrors are not aligned. My scope is not focused and gives me a blurry unrealistic view of the world and what I can find in it and expect of it. I need to be collimated.
Because I do tend to isolate myself, I cling to things. There is a part of this clingy quality that I like. Because of the need to latch onto things I enjoy, I am able to tell you what collimate means. I can tell you how to collimate your telescope. Details and microcosms are fascinating and can be very informative. For a lot of hobbies the real fun is in the minutia. If you’re a stamp collector it isn’t so much the size of your collection but the very few, very rare stamps that reside deep within and the details that make them so special.
I use to collect coins. I still do in a more casual way. I have several books of pennies and that is cool in itself. But in one of them is a 1943 steel penny. It isn’t all that rare a thing and isn’t worth all that much, but it has a history. Copper was needed for the war effort so pennies were minted out of steel with a zinc coating. Minutia. Isn’t it great?
One day while working at a convenience store, an individual made a purchase and handed me some bills. My eye detected something unique. I set one of the bills aside, gave the customer their change and wished them a good day as they left. I then checked out the bill. It was a $1.00 1935-A Silver Certificate. I pulled a buck from my pocket and put it in the cash register and kept the Silver Certificate. Right now these one-dollar bills run around $100.00+ on eBay. Some jerk raided granddad’s coin stash for cig money. I still have the bill and it will be passed on to my daughter and someday she can make some real cash with it. Because of my clingy need to get into the nitty gritty of things I enjoy, I was the one who profited.
But that clingy, dig deep nature does not work well with people. When building a relationship if you latch on too quickly, you may rope yourself to the wrong person. That is definitely true with my first wife. That relationship was messed up all the way around. The only good thing to come from it was my child. It is probably also true with my second wife. And while that did end as I was not the right person for her, she was the right person for me and she made me a better person.
Being clingy can also scare a person away and that person might have been a good friend. Enjoying isolation and being clingy makes it next too impossible to have a lot of friends at different levels that can help you as you try to navigate the rough waters of relationships. If you cling, you focus. When you focus tightly on one you cannot easily perceive another.
So how do I collimate my relationships scope? How do I stay distant enough that my clingy nature doesn’t chase the good ones away without the risk of being so aloof that they forget all about me? How do I stay close enough that I get the enjoyment I seek without being a pain in the butt? How do I attach myself to someone enough that I can really learn about them and enjoy them without the risk of becoming so attached that a breakaway is possible if it becomes necessary? How do you focus but not zero-in? How do you target but not lock?
For the time being I have begun accepting that I enjoy my isolation. I enjoy the few friends I have. I should not concern myself with the idea that I am not the life of the party and that I do not know how to juggle bundles of friends. I enjoy staying focused on smaller spaces.
My scope needs collimating.