Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A thin blue sky

In which we are blown away

It snowed off and on all day, gusty, white-out ghosts that scared people into staying home. People meaning me. But I didn’t want to write about that weather, for it was the over-the-top, blizzardy excess kind of meteorology the Weather Channel describes best. No, it was the next day after the front had blown past and we had to leave the house, forced to confront the elements full-face to the wind, that got me thinking somebody should write about it. We took the back roads through the country, the ones that cut through miles of flat Indiana snow-buried farm fields devoid of color, intersected by the dark lines of wind-rows. All that winter white, that absence of color, that blurring of detail. But brilliant in the early afternoon sun, snow like drifted galaxies. And it was cold, witch’s-tit cold, quick-frozen-jeans cold, numb-your-nose cold, outer-space cold. It was outer-space clear, too, the blue above us a thin and brittle illusion between the universe and us, as we drove down County Line Road on a Sunday afternoon. There didn’t seem to be much in the way between the stars and me, just that skin of blue and some sunshine. If I wasn’t in the car, if I were out in the field, maybe the wind would catch me like a snowflake and I’d end up in a constellation somewhere. Or maybe I’d melt in the thermosphere, somewhere above Arcola.  What a weird place, I thought, what a weird, weird place to feel at one with the universe.

Inspired by Carl Sagan's 'Pale Blue Dot.'

Centuries are what it meant to me / A cemetery where I marry the sea / Stranger things could never change my mind / I've got to take it on the otherside

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