November 30, 2007
By Lisa Deneckere, Madison, WI

There is a place I like to go and humans call it the sky.

Some go to the sky and find a void, a gaping chasm above shaped like a mouth with thin lips.

Some find a curved mirror that reflects the present, glimmering with wisdom.

Others look to the sky as they believe the past is stored there, inside dusty cardboard cartons that can be pried open for the use of introspection.

I believe none of these.

The moon drifts and swims in the sky like the path of a dove through the mists. I look into and through it and see my mother’s eyes, perhaps smiling, perhaps simply sincere.

I shift my glance from the moon. A familiar and favorite idea drops into my head-

How multitudinous, the stars that are in reality infinite suns burning further into time than I can comprehend. This is both frightening and comforting, and causes a slight pain to the right of my heart, a nameless wonderful emotion.

Orion, the Swan, the Twins, Castor and Pollux- the magnitude, grandeur of the sky slips from my mind for a moment as I attempt to locate constellations, as I remember to breathe.

Then the entire sky whooshes back into my mind, me staring upwards, the action ungainly as the first flight of a blue heron. There’s more out there, I think every time I look. There has to be.

Stars blink in and out like the notes of a poignant melody softly bowed. I am reminded of the sudden fluttering of wings which occurs when you startle a colony of beautiful dark loons. Their cries to one another across an open lake are haunting; I’m sure one is never answered.

There is that heartrending aspect, but also there is this feeling of wonder and mystery: a mystery that might never be solved, the most powerful type. This uncertainty exists so certainly in its uncertainty it is cause for rejoicing; the nameless, unbridled emotion rises again through my throat and I notice a grouping of stars shaped like an outstretched hand, palm up.

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