shooting stars

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I tried to catch the leonides this morning. Woke up nice and early, put some coffee on, knowing that the peak was supposed to have come around 4:00

It’s funny that I should even think of it, but I was just writing about it on here the other day. That period a few years ago where I was trying to get my head right. Typing disturbed secret journal entries.

It was late. Middle of the night. One of those nights. Can’t sleep. Can’t get your mind off of things. Anxiety pushing you back and forth in bed, until you get up out of it. I went for a walk. Threw my coat on, laced up my shoes, and just ran off into the night. The air crisp, dry, the season’s cold easing it’s grip around the Northeast.

I didn’t know where I was going. Just started wandering around the paved trails that criss-crossed my then suburban home. And I came upon a field. A playground at one end of it. Apartments to either side and some townhomes to another. Not a soul was about. It really must have been late.

And I wandered out into the middle of it and laid myself down to look up at the sky. And there they were. Stars. Just shooting across the sky. Everywhere. Everywhere. Streaking through, sometimes alone, sometimes in little sorties. Stars and stars. I’d never seen anything like it.

I lay there in that field for I don’t know how long. An intensity swelling in my chest with each silver arc.  I felt something rising inside me. I was reading Wallace Stevens at the time, and I kept tossing afflatus around on my tongue. Afflatus, afflatus. An awesome, affecting, ascending, animating afflatus.

And maybe that was it. The moment I was looking for. A turning point. A sign. A flashing signal from the other end of life’s tunnel. I don’t know.

Logic does not follow. You look up at the sky to see the heavens alive, soaring, swinging. And the mind latches onto something. We’re uplifted. A hollow heart feels a little less lonely.

Logic does not follow.

I remember thinking to myself then that things were going to change. Hell, things weren’t really that bad. I just had my head in a bad place. All I needed to do was look up.

I think I kept at that journal for a little while after that. But it soon tapered off. And I started acting more like myself.

So I woke up nice and early this morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of my old leonides. But I had woken up too late. The sky was already lightening. The Sun swelling on the horizon. There were some low, dusty clouds. A few stars still. But none of them shooting.

Standing on my balcony, half-dressed and wrapped hastily in a wool coat, I looked east. The wispy clouds were parting, as if just for the Sun, arching up to frame its expanding corona. The sky’s blue was already brightening, azure and clear. The day was looking pretty good.

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