night sky

“You know I was reading,” she begins, “the other day that there’s a spiral galaxy, like our milky way, that makes the sound of a fan.”

We’re lying on our backs, on the apartment block roof, looking at the stars. The apartment roof is flat. We’re near the city. Near the sea. It feels still and quiet. She climbs up onto her elbows and lifts her right hand. With it she makes circles with her index finger in the air.

“Whoop whoop whoop whoop. Whoop whoop whoop whoop.”

She whispers again and and again, making the sound of a fan.

We came up the stairs to the rooftop tonight because we both decided we wanted some perspective. “Eyes up” we used to always say, but lately hadn’t taken a second to look.

Tonight the air is cool. The sky is clear but I can’t quite see stars. I’m remembering looking at the stars with the woman who lies next to me, from a garden, a long time ago in northern Europe. We used to lay there and draw dot to dot the stars. Right now we lay, but we can’t make out the patterns above.

“Whoop whoop whoop whoop. Whoop whoop whoop whoop,” she whispers.

“You know I was thinking,” she continues, “I love this idea that space makes noises. Like that space makes a melody. Like a song.”

“I was thinking,” she continues as she jumps up to sit cross legged. Her legs just next to my head and she talks to me as I continue I face the stars.

“I was thinking about that circular motion of the spiral galaxy. I was thinking about the fan noises that it makes. And I was thinking of how I seem to run in that spinning motion myself. But I get really tired. I want to move at a constant rate like the galaxy. That beautiful constant “whoop whoop whoop”. It’s not tired. But it’s moving. It’s generating life.

I’m not sure if space begets life, but I let her continue.

“You know, I dont want to run amock spinning out of motion.”

I prop myself up with my fingers interlocked behind my head to listen to her. And to see her. The reflections from the lights of the city dapple bright colors over her face. The lights paint beautiful colors over her visage. It’s a little distracting.

“You know,” she said. “I was thinking this morning before I went into my boardroom meeting. I was thinking I don’t want to be flustered and frantic. I want to be peaceful and sure.

You know, I think, under pressure I get stressed about generating something of my own accord. I try to generate human movement as I spin these plates around.

But I get tired and I don’t want to keep spinning like this. So when I was reading this thing, about the spiral galaxy, I was thinking imagine if space really is moving in song and dance. And then I was thinking, imagine if I could if I could let go of my own movement and somehow hear for the “whoop whoop whoop” of the stars, and move with it.”

“That’s beautiful sweetheart, but I’m not sure if I’m with you.”

Looking at her, the lights on her face sweep over. Sliding reflections down her face. There is movement in the city, projecting colored lights.

“Well I was thinking that I’m so impressed by the things in front of me. By the things I’m doing. Or else I’m frustrated by the things I’m not doing. The things I haven’t conquered. But even then, I’m not looking up. These things in front of my become lights that blind me to the stars above.

And in my imagination light begets light. Lights above plants ideas of lights below. Like our eyes and nebula remember?”

I’m looking at her as I’m talking. More specifically, I’m looking at her speckled green eyes. I’m remembering images I saw in her cosmology book about how eyes mirrored the nebula in the sky. My own girl with her difficulty in lifting her eyes up, has nebulas in her eyes already.

“You know this is the thing Wil. I’ve actually been spinning and flustered and am anxious about not moving at all. And I’m anxious about the times where I’ll be without work – fearing a coupling of nothingness and unrest. Craving a coupling instead of stillness and movement. That’s what I want. I want to be still, but to move. Like “whoop whoop whoop” in the sky.”

She spins her index finger again. And trails off “whoop whoop whoop”.

She lays back down beside me. I bring her into my chest. We lay properly and look at the stars. The blank clear night. As we lay, the stars eventually come out, one by one as we gaze above. With my eyes relaxed now, in tune and alert to the darkness above, I begin to see.

Without the distraction of the scintillating city lights that flashed as I sat propped up, I can gaze into the sky’s lights. Gaze into real lights. Fire of burning gases lights.

I close my eyes and imagine a mirrored nebulae in the sky, mirroring the colors and specks in my own eyes.

“I like this idea of spinning in nature’s song,” she says. I hold her closer to me.

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