Field Notes: Oct. 27, 2019 (HIKING, OBSERVATORY)

My best friend and I went hiking yesterday. We made it 20 minutes in and both had strange premonitions of something ugly. The air was thick with watching – yes, watching. Beastly animal or beastly man? What was it?

Maybe it was the ticks, with whom I had a ten year war. I did not wish to ignite the conflict again – I won but I still have the scars, wounds, and limps of battle. We did not know, but promptly ejected from the trail. It reminded me of a documentary I just watched Under the Wire: the camera man of a slain war correspondent had a “feeling” that they should leave the war zone. He said it was the only time he did not heed the gut. She died that day. I thought of that as we left, and was not sure if I had heeded it quickly enough or not. Luckily, we had.

I looked through my first real telescope last night and so did my lovely best friend. We saw the star Altair and the vision of it shining is still in my mind. There was one tiny pin of light in the telescope and it was brilliant. And I am employing the proper use of the word brilliant – it was a star, burning wildly. The light I was seeing 17 years old, just arriving. I do not understand distance.

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