When I raised the shades from my single window today, I noticed that it was still light out, despite the time. Spring was slowly creeping up eastwards over the land, day by day. Moved, I pulled on a parka and sat on my stoop, watching the stars blink on.
The sky was absolutely cloudless-- not a breath of white except for the occasional wisps drawn small and indolent across that expanse by small planes. The sky turned from a milky blue to a porcelain blue to a deep cerulean. At first, I didn't notice any lights in the sky-- my eyes were overwhelmed by the tepid orange glow of the streetlamp that had just turned on, and by the lights in the windows from the townhouses across from me that came on, one by one. Then in the west, the still-naked trees and their wiry and numerous branches, cutting into the blue until they were pasted there, two-dimensionally-- no space between the tree and sky. Just a black and blue tableau, stretching from one edge of my vision to the other. Branches, often compared to capillaries and heart vessels-- capillaries and heart vessels, often said to "branch" out throughout the body.
And then in the easternmost tree that I could see, the first light-- Sirius in the southeastern sky! Between the black fingers of the barren branches, it shone. Hello, good evening, it seemed to say to me, cheerily. I looked back to my right and there! How could I have missed it? The planets--two!--burning brightly in the deepening blue. I watched marveling as the space around them grew saturated with the coming night, their light so carelessly bright. Then a little shadow of a plane, high in the sky, and then-- I was disoriented.
the plane is probably a jumbo jet, flying high in the sky-- the plane is massive in size compared to my small body-- but the plane is about the same size, in the sky, as the planet there-- but the planet is indescribably bigger than the plane-- but they are the same size now-- that means the plane is very close to me-- that means the planet is very far away-- that means I am very far from the planet, and close to the plane-- but the plane is flying so very high in the sky-- like a colossal metal bird in the sky-- and I am so small-- I am so small
And then that familiar vertigo, from so many years now past. Looking up at the spray of stars in the night sky in some grass field in northwestern Connecticut, knowing: the distance from me to those heavenly bodies-- oh god, the distance!
And then I sit on my stoop tonight, watching the evening set in and the night come, for the first time in so very long-- the two dimensional pancake of tree and flat sky-- the plane and the planet-- Sirius winking cheekily through the black branches of my small townhouse community: and I remember
When did this become less important.
When did this, become not the most joyous and living mission in my life?
This is my amen, this is my hallelujah, this is my worship, from a true place.
And I haven't written in so long, I've been uninspired for so long, that I was afraid to write these words and record these thoughts: but I knew I must.
I have to be able to remember.
This is what it means to be alive.