Tuesday, October 11, 2011

twinkle, twinkle

The early morning air that is crisping into autumn seemed to etch to stars today. So crispy-crispy clear. Astronomy -- another topic about which I have a patchwork understanding that I can cobble together with judgment and bias in an effort to be smart, in control, intelligent and a number of other things I clearly am not. Luckily, the stars don't mind...at least as far as I know.

One of the things I do 'know' is that the twinkling light I see in the heavens this morning can be a light that was emitted thousands of years ago. That's how long the light took to reach my peering eye. When I look up, I am looking directly into the past ... twinkle, twinkle, tease, tease ... and all of it happening in a 'then' made 'now.' What I see with such assurance is something utterly unassured. For all I know, that particular star or planet or whatever the hell it is has long since ceased to twinkle at all and, relative to the stars, I am living in a self-satisfied dream world. What may be 'dead' is still verifiably 'alive.'

Looking directly into the past. Right now. In the present. What a mind-boggler. What really is or may be dead is really alive and well and living in the early-morning sky.

And perhaps, assuming the stars gave a hoot, when the stars see me twinkling, they will suffer from the same confounding consternation. Adam is gone now, but twinkles just the same ... just like everybody else.

Maybe it's time to stop papering over my ignorance with smug observations and just let the past and present go. Separating past and present is a fool's errand -- one I am habituated to and one that is palpably a matter of telling fairy tales. How many fairy tales can I tell before living in a fairy tale becomes tiresome in its inaccuracy? What's the matter with being alive or dead, now or then? Isn't life simpler than a fairy tale?

Twinkle, twinkle.

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