March 28, 2009

5 days later

well I'm somewhat better but still exhausted. Antibiotics are starting to help the bronchitis but the quietude is getting to me. Too much time to think. Regrets and memories popping out of nowhere.

At the beginning of grade 2, about the same age my grandson is now, I had an affinity for the limitless sky and I talked to the moon. I made my first visit to the Winnipeg planetarium that autumn, just before my birthday and it was a REALLY BIG DEAL. Over a hundred students, though it seemed like thousands, filed into the amphitheater, voices hushed, punctuated with the occasional childish squeal. Directed to our seats, we climbed into them as anticipation throbbed like a second heartbeat.

The lights dimmed, words poured out of the void and my seat tilted back as an evening sky dimmed to royal, then deepest blue shading to obsidian. My breath caught and the first nano brightness appeared in the northern sky. Like pinpricks through LiteBrite, stars were born and coalesced into the milky way spinning across my own personal universe, so close I could have reached out and caught one in my hand.

Old Sol flaring alive with heat, the realization that the sun really was a star illuminating a newborn landscape in my imagination. The planets, no longer two dimensional pictures in the Reader's Digest World Atlas but spinning nonchalantly through the night sky, immense and heavy, the colours surreal. First love happened then and there, I never wanted to leave.

The questions that trip engendered are some of the same questions I am still asking myself 40 years later. The awe and wonder of the magnitude of the universe beats in my heart still.

The next summer,1969, I was 7 1/2, Apollo 11 landed on the moon and humankind took its first steps on a different planet. Utterly mesmerized by the foggy images on our black and white television, I ached to be an astronaut walking on Mars and fly through the rings of Saturn.

Anything was possible to me then. No matter that my teachers told me I couldn't, my mom told me I could be anything I wanted to be, and that the others who nay sayed me would forever limit themselves by their own unbelief.

The sheer gloriousness of believing that I would someday walk among the stars was my shield against the drudgery and angst of everyday life. Childish as it was, I could go there and hide from all the ugliness of reality.

But time passes and glories dim. Failures intrude and living pushes those dreams into the nooks and crannies reserved for ancient history. Until one night while camping, lying in a field with the endless sky above you, the artesian well of hidden joy springs forth and lifts your heart on a magic carpet ride through the milkyway, just a hand's breadth away.

Another reason to always remain 8 years old.

2 comments:

Schmutzie said...

We didn't have a planetarium in Saskatoon, so they brought an inflatable tent that acted as one to our gymnasium. It was amazing. I remember sitting really still and quiet so that I could be the last one out, and I had a few seconds alone in the dark with all the stars.

dk said...

I know!

improvise & overcome

... and why would I choose to associate myself with a term that most used used in a derogatory manner?
In order to change the meaning of a word or create a new meaning for a word, one must own the word. Over time and use the word may evolve to mean other than was originally intended & to that end...
my definition: an independent woman

dictionary definitions:

1. informal term for a (young) woman
2. an unsupervised umarried woman
3. a young woman or girl, esp. a peasant girl.
(usually facetious)
3. a woman servant
4. a wanton woman
5. Archaic: a strumpet
[Origin: 1250–1300; ME, back formation from wenchel, OE wencel child]

synonom :"dame"

acronym:
Women Entitled to Nothing but Complete Happiness

International Wenches Guild

what do you believe?

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