Wink For Me

This past Sunday I was helping Boyfriend install a new door at my parents’ house.  The old door was a ratchety thing, heavy and crooked:  using it was a torment.   It had to go.

We worked well into the evening, with time off for breakfast and a supply run to Home Depot.  It was past dusk when the drop lamp was finally retrieved from the garage, echoing with crickets.  I held the lamp aloft, like Florence Nightingale, listening for the cries of the Crimea to come shuddering through the cobalt air.

The night was cool; rich with particles of water that clung to the sky, unwilling to fall.  Stars and planets shivered like chilly jewels behind the clouds and the moon was coy, hiding her bright face in their gray skirts like a child.

On a whim, I turned the lamp towards the sky, hoping to capture the lost illumination.  But light years stole my efforts and the lamplight quickly evaporated, like a weakling candle.  I examined the shadowy arc that balanced over the horizon, but the sparkling populations remained bashful – and hidden.

Before I turned away, however, I detected a faint blinking in the sky – a tiny, struggling light.  Undoubtedly it was an airplane.

But on the other hand, perhaps a star had decided to reassure me with a distant wink – a whimsical departure – before retiring for the night.

A Storied Land

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9 responses to “Wink For Me

  1. Aubrey, I wish we’d been friends when we were about six years old.

  2. That made me want to *hug!* you, your mind is so charming!
    (also, I’m listening to Anthem by Leonard Cohen whilst reading it – very fitting, somehow)

  3. [this is good]
    hey–I was trying to find an old post of yours, from Vox I think. But I am seeing articles about the “kissing sailor” and how he and the nurse have finally been identified. Didn’t you say the woman was one of your teachers? I thought she died at the time you wrote that. Or is my memory as poor as everything else about me? 😉

  4. Full and rich, Aubrey, thank you for this lovely moment with the sky.

  5. Under your marvelous imagery lies an even more marvelous truth – the universe is friendly and approachable, not cold and distant. Or, if it turns a blank and stone-faced stare toward us now and then, it will turn again.

    Or, perhaps Neil Armstrong knows something. After all, he asked us to wink at the moon for him. Perhaps what you saw was Neil, winking back.

  6. Jane – then we’d be almost impossibly marvelous together: a spectacular thought!

    fatcat – I looked up ‘Anthem’ – it’s a Cohen song I hadn’t heard of; I love the thought of you read this tiny post with his mighty words sounding in the background.

    Ms. Pants – thanks for the very Vox-like appreciation! I read the story about the ‘kissing sailor’ as well; that there are new names and a new story behind the photo. MAKE NO MISTAKE. Ignore that story – the nurse in that photo is Edith Shain, Aubrey’s kindergarten teacher.

    Jaypo – always happy to take you on a visit!

    shoreacres – I was flying into Las Vegas about a month ago – a night flight. I recall seeing the moon through the tiny window – I didn’t wink, but I gave her a smile and watched her as she rode the tip of the airplane’s wing. It was only the next day that I heard about Armstrong’s winking wish (I was there with my family, and asked that they do the same).

  7. One of my favorites so far. It just captures the pre-winter cool night air perfectly. And the stars hold it all together for us as things disintegrate and change. Lovely.

  8. So much in a moment of your delightful mind. I love the image of you, like Florence Nightingale, holding the lap aloft, “listening for the cries of the Crimea to come shuddering through the cobalt air”. Wonderful!

  9. a lovely bit of true life poetry, torn from the tapestry of the night sky. Whatever we feel looking into is real, depthless and meaningful.
    Love the book cover you picture. It seems so familiar that I’m going to check our bookshelves.

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