Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Thinking about Grandparents a lot lately, and missing them. This is a poem my Grandma, Ruth Glick, wrote. My cousin Jonathan Reuel put it to music and played it during her memorial service. (I was going to attach it here, but I seem to be incapable...sorry.)

Not what we own, nor what our hands have held…not measured wealth nor horded gold or land, but what our eyes behold or have beheld: treasures of the mind, not of the hands. The ocean’s beauty has no price, the sands and waves belong to those who know…and love. Flowers come with dew-drop filled silvery light and starry sky above. Not what we have is life, but what we deeply love. The ocean’s beauty has no price, the sands and waves belong to those who know…and love.

Praia do Meco, Portugal

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

memories of stars

I remember the first time I was truly aware of the Milky Way, and able to watch its shift across a clear night sky. I was about ten years old and we were vacationing to our soon-to-be home: Glenwood, New Mexico. I'd lived in Ohio until then, and slept out under the stars my fair share of times, but even though we lived in the woods, you don't get the openness or the intensity of the stars that you get in Nowhere, Southwest. I seem to recall sleeping on an open trailer, so it may have actually been once we moved, but our whole family had laid out sleeping bags on the trailer and could stare up at the enormous openness of the real-life Van Gogh painting. The Milky Way was probably nearly straight above us as we fell asleep.

Coyote calls awakened us, and we whisper-marveled to each other: coyotes so close, they probably don't even know we're here! What wild land! (They probably knew we were there.) And then gazing upwards again, the lactic-like cluster of stars had shifted noticeably. My eyesight must have been better then than now, because I'm sure I didn't have to put on glasses to notice this... It's easy to understand why early astronomers imagined the Earth to be the center of the universe, with the sun, moon and stars rotating around us...but oh! to be Kepler, Galileo, Newton! Study the paths of light trekking across the skies season to season, and propose absurd and wondrous ideas about how the universe appears and behaves!

Monday I went on a beautiful hike with some friends and we walked about an hour though the snow in the dark on our way back. It was one day short of new moon, so our starlight was unadulterated by the sun's faithful mirror, and we could see our bright galaxy clearly defined. (The only con associated with aiming one's glance upward is the almost immediate slight shift of your step to one side, which when trudging through knee-deep snow--albeit trampled down from our trek in--usually results in a mild loss of balance.)

I don't think the stars remember me, or benefit in any way from my presence, but the opposite is most certainly true. Were it an action, not a feeling, I'd be proving Newton's third law of motion wrong...but I think he knew what he was talking about. Salud!