Posts Tagged 'perseids'

Perseids

I live in the city now, where street lights,
House lights, glowing red then green then amber lights
Block the stars from the world.
Even though I knew there was too much light noise
Friday
I walked into the yard to squint with hands up
To block security’s glare from the next house, and wondered

Was that one?

Was that?

And doubted my own eyes…

Memory conjured up cool meadows by forests
Where we used to camp….When woken by parents, I
Struggled out of my cocooned sleep,
Eyes not quite awake,
To look at the sky. I sat and watched stars dash across my limits
Until I reluctantly looked away, and walked back from a dream.

Clouds crossed the skies on Friday, but still I waited,
Knowing if I turned away, a meteor would streak the sky
Like a fingernail thru frost.

— rjn, 13 August 2016

Perseids and Camping

One August, I visited my friends up in New England. It was the sort of area where you could actually camp in their backyard (my friends lived on the outskirts of a really small town). It was a 2 week 5-sibling (from 2 families) gabfest, filled with trips to swimming ponds, long walks to the next town for ice cream, etc. We got to walk to the little town library and take out books (The Five Children and It by E Nesbit was a disappointment after the absolute magic of The Enchanted Castle), wrote ridiculous plays that we would actually read aloud, howling with laughter, and woke up early enough to see the mist rise off the grass.

One night, we were woken by my friends’ Mom at around 1 AM. Scratchy blankets were thrown over shoulders, and we stumbled barefoot onto the wet grass and looked upwards.

I looked and saw the stars falling from the sky, going in different directions. After a while, we all blinked sleepily at each other and went back into the tent to sleeping bags. The next morning, waking in the glow of the yellow tent walls, it was hard to believe what we had seen the night before

Every time I see a meteor shower, it takes my breath away. Last night/this morning, I stood on the porch to see a few stray meteors palely fall. The city lights are too strong here, and the cloud cover that was filtering away interfered too. But even so, I still got a tiny taste of the awe that thousands before me have felt. BTW: look up Perseids, and you’ll see that it refers to both the placement of the meteors (association with the constellation of Perseus) and in Greek mythology/history, it refers to the descendants of Perseus.

Perseus is associated in my head with Andromeda and sea monsters, thanks to a mythology project in 6th grade. So, the Perseids do have a connection with the Project Spectrum element, water, in a way.

Images of Andromeda and Perseus from Leighton (1891) found here: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/19c/leightonAndromeda.aspx

Images of Andromeda and Perseus from antiquity found here (as well as a more modern view from “Clash of the Titans”): http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/Perseus.html

(I did see “Clash of the Titans” when it was in the theaters. It has not held up well with time’s changes, even though it had Maggie Smith and Laurence Olivier. But I do remember the excitement of going to see it.)

Knitting stuff: I’ll be knitting a purple, cotton, Rusted Root for this element. The leaves might look a little bit like seaweed, but I doubt it. I might have enough yarn and gumption to actually make the puffed sleeves a little longer. I have to adjust the front and shoulders so it doesn’t choke the front of the neck. Since this is the first time I’m working a sweater from the top down, I’m kind of in the midst of math right now.


Flickr Photos

Archives