Saturday, November 17, 2007

Our Lady of the Shooting Stars (Mary Gauthier)

A friend (thanks, FM) sent me the following - sounds like a good reason/excuse (as if I need one... :-) for a late-night/early-morning jacuzzi soak!

Next Saturday night/Sunday morning, November 17th, we may have a very rare event occurring in the night sky. The Leonid Meteor Shower will return, as it does each year, when the earth passes through the dust trail of the Comet Temel-Tuttle. However, this year it will be a meteor storm. When this happened in 1833, people thought it was the end of the world. You can count on 1000 per hour, but astronomers think the stars are right for a repeat of the 1966 event when at one point 40,000 meteors per hour lit up the night sky.

I am out before dawn, marching a small dog through a meager park
Boulevards angle away, newspapers fly around like blind white birds
Two days in a row I have not seen the meteors
though the radio news says they are overhead
Leonid's brimstones are barred by clouds; I cannot read
the signs in heaven, I cannot see night rendered into fire

And yet I do believe a net of glitter is above me
You would not think I still knew these things:
I get on the train, I buy the food, I sweep, discuss,
consider gloves or boots, and in the summer,
open windows, find beads to string with pearls
You would not think that I had survived
anything but the life you see me living now

In the darkness, the dog stops and sniffs the air
She has been alone, she has known danger,
and so now she watches for it always
and I agree, with the conviction of my mistakes.
But in the second part of my life, slowly, slowly,
I begin to counsel bravery. Slowly, slowly,
I begin to feel the planets turning, and I am turning
toward the crackling shower of their sparks

These are the mysteries I could not approach when I was younger:
the boulevards, the meteors, the deep desires that split the sky
Walking down the paths of the cold park
I remember myself, the one who can wait out anything
So I caution the dog to go silently, to bear with me
the burden of knowing what spins on and on above our heads

For this is our reward: Come Armageddon, come fire or flood,
come love, not love, millennia of portents--
there is a future in which the dog and I are laughing
Born into it, the mystery, I know we will be saved

QUOTE: "It takes solitude under the stars for us to be reminded of our eternal origin and our far destiny.
" ~ Archibald Rutledge

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