Sunday, March 18, 2007

I'm Your Venus, I'm Your Fire, Your Desire

Gazing out my study window moments ago I noticed a dark orange light aglow off in the distance. Its position was indeterminate, in part because of the darkness caused by the glare of inside lights, so for all I knew it could just as well have been a low-lying star as a flashlight up in the hills; a traveler on a snowy night looking for some final peace before the work week. But then my teapot whistled, and when I returned from the kitchen it was gone. I turned off all the lights, save the dim glow of my computer screen, and I was able to see it once again.

A little research revealed that my light is the planet Venus, which at first disappointed me because I prefer to keep strange lights just that - strange. I took an astronomy class in college, and the main thing I learned from it was that I would rather not know about the position and make-up of the solar system. I just want to look up in awe. Every now and then pretend to know a constellation or two, but mostly just lie on my back in the late spring and imagine who else saw these same stars before me. Shays? Twain? Emerson? Metacomet?

And now I, with my transparent eye, sit looking upon them. Or it, rather, since it is just the one star. Not even a star, a planet. Like I said, at first I was disappointed to learn what it was. To actively learn, no less, by shutting off all the lights and doing a google news search. My curiosity prevailed over my desire to remain ignorant, to remain blissful. Had I never looked anything up I could have imagined, and truly believed, that it was a lonely soul out in the woods seeking high ground at 11pm on a Sunday, some two days after a late-season Nor'Easter left Quabbin Qountry nestled yet again under a thick blanket of snow. That would have made me happy, knowing that someone out there was doing what I always want to do - just say fuck it and go for a walk no matter when, no matter why. But I have excuses aplenty, and I just want to know that there is someone out there who doesn't.

"The greatest delight which the fields and woods minister, is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me, and I to them. The waving of the boughs in the storm, is new to me and old. It takes me by surprise, and yet is not unknown. Its effect is like that of a higher thought or a better emotion coming over me, when I deemed I was thinking justly or doing right." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

I remembered that quotation tonight, when I was wondering about the stars and the invisible eye. It made me think of the good old days running through Point Defiance on college breaks when I would high-five the ferns on the circle trail, and give a little elbow nudge to the salal bushes. Back when we knew each other. As for Venus, it hit me just when I started bummin' about the traveler that the planet was named after the Roman goddess of love of beauty. And if that's an omen for 3Q, then I'll take it even if it means having to give up on a few midnight walks through the woods.

Tea and oranges,

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