Altair

It is nigh on ten in the evening.

The predicted hot weather didn’t quite live up to the weather guessers’ hype in the Southwest corner, but nor has the marine layer taken over the coastal fringe where we live. So the skies are clear. i should be in bed. I’m old. Maureen, who is young compared to me has retired to read a bit and then fall asleep in a lovely repose.

But the skies are clear.

i have moved out to one of my favorite places at night, the little sitting area, which would be a gazebo except there is no top other than the umbrella. The neighborhood is quiet. The night residents of owls, coyotes, bobcats have not begun their hunts. It is quiet.

And i can see stars.

i sit with my computer and my usual rambling of thoughts. Sarah’s dog, Billie Holiday is with me because Sarah is out with friends. It is an updated version of Norman Rockwell painting conflicting with this new world of negativity where everyone seems to be consumed by what they hate rather that what is good, and the crazy, still unknown degree of calamitous infection weighs upon us all even if all of our interpretations of the effects and the method of resolution do not agree.

So what the hell?

i have my music on. Nellie McKay is first in line. i would have never known of her had not Blythe given me her CD. One of the more intriguing and talented artists I’ve heard in a long time. She’s followed by Betty Carter with Ray Bryant, Benny Carter, Ray Charles, Flatt and Scruggs, and John Lee Hooker.  My music tastes are pretty eclectic, and I’m glad. i have found i share this wide range of appreciation with my daughters, although their knowledge and appreciation are deeper than mine. That too makes me feel good about the world.

A point past my properly lit flag atop our hill to the southwest Jupiter and Saturn are rolling to the east. Above them Altair stands poised in the night sky. She was one of our constant reliables for shooting the stars and obtaining navigational fixes before the electronic gurus saturated these heavens with satellites to tell us where we are and remain my preferred way of finding my way if only they would let me go to sea again.

And i wonder what the ancients would think if some time vehicle could bring them to the chair beside me as a border patrol helicopter whirls noisily over head and out of earshot. i know it’s the agent passing over his home on the way back to base and alerting his family he is on the way home.

When i try to think of some way we could resolve our differences, i know the answer isn’t hate and confrontational posturing, but the real answer evades me and trying to come up with a resolution makes my heard hurt.

So i take a sip of the good port my neighbor Spud Mumby makes and graciously provides me. i look past the flag and up and up at Altair and speak to the ancients.

i listen to Nancy Wilson sing “Here’s That Rainy Day,” and realize in this fire alert conditioned Southwest corner, that “rainy day” is really here, just not wet.

Then the magic “shuffle” on my music plays The Pozo Seco Singers’ “Time.”

i think that pretty much captures my thoughts tonight:

Some people run, some people crawl
Some people don’t even move at all
Some roads lead forward, some roads lead back
Some roads are bathed in light, some wrapped in fearful black

Time, oh time, where did you go?
Time, oh good, good time, where did you go?

Some people never get, some never give
Some people never die, and some never live
Some folks treat me mean, some treat me kind
Most folks just go their way, don’t pay me any mind

Time, oh time, where did you go?
Time, oh good, good time, where did you go?

Sometimes I’m satisfied, sometimes I’m not
Sometimes my face is cold, sometimes it’s hot
Sunset, i laugh
Sunrise, i cry
At midnight, I’m in between and wondering why

Time, oh time, where did you go?
Time, oh good, good time, where did you go?

Good night, Altair.

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