Sunday, 3 October 2010
I lay on the roof, the concrete under my back cold and damp. The darkness snaking over me, lifting my hair from my neck and tickling along my collar bone as I stare up at the sky. The clouds swirled, like oil on water, ebbing and flowing at speed. Rapids in the sky, hiding the inkyness of space from view. Only one light visible, the straining light of a star - too bright to be a sun, a planet that seemed to glow against the waves of clouds.
I looked in vain for my favourite star - waiting for the instant calm that comes over me when I find it, but being thwarted, and feeling the slight uneasiness as the wind teased my hair, the strange chill off the concrete seeping into my skin. I felt that need for release, that singular feeling I've not felt in a while. That uncomfortable prickling sensation when something fights to be free of me. Bubbles up in my blood, seeps into my skin and fights harder than all the chill in the world.
I'm at work, and in the search for something extraordinary I went past the usual gate to find a blacked out part of the roof - large and flat and covered in the puddles from the earlier storm. The views are beautiful when I'm standing, but when I want more I lie back, let the cold fight with the heat until it feels like steam is rolling off my body.
Lying here, in the middle of the city and yet all I can see is darkness and clouds. Inky swirls and the occasional flash of a star as they are revealed by the streaking clouds. My new phone tells me that the planet is Jupiter, and I lie in the darkness, thinking of how amazing it is to be lying here alone, away from everyone and in the midst of everything discovering, Jupiter for the first time. I watch her beam at me, the largest planet in our Solar System and instead of feeling insignificant I feel connected to everything and everyone in our universe. Wonder how many others tonight under this same sky are looking up, peering between the clouds and wondering if they're thinking about me too - some unseen spirit connected by the wonder that is the night sky.
I like the darkness, I love the fact that I am alone. I could not share this with just anyone, and I am happy to be me here. My pager beeps in the darkness and I answer the call before prowling back out to the darkness, called by something I cannot define. In the brief interlude the wind has picked up again, and as her gift she has parted the curtains and all the sky lies before me. Constellations gathered in the largest, friendliest group, welcoming me back among them, glad that I'm alone. Antares calls to me, introduces me jubilantly as I am enfolded, and the bubbles under my skin effervesce.
I wish that I could share this, to let someone see the pure fire that courses through me, arcane, silver. But some things you just cannot share, as hard as you may wish. And I lie back in the arms of Antares, my guiding light in the sky.