This year I got the gift of a shooting star on that day which we know as Christmas. When you see a shooting star you get to make a wish. And in making this wish during that split second when you spy the shooting star, you learn something about yourself because you didn’t know you were going to see that shooting star and subsequently get that wish so you don’t have more than a bite of a (yes, I meant bite) second to think about what you might want. I think at that moment our subconscious blurts out our most burning desires. And the gift of hope is always a valuable one because it’s so easy to lose, likely due to its elusive and indefinable characteristics. Hope can’t be bought, sold or traded, at least not in its most sincere form. Anyway, because of my shooting star I now know what I want most and therein lies the gift of the gift. Although, there’s the be careful what you wish for thing which I have experienced and now understand but this wish was not a crazy caution-needing thing. Hope is a great gift.

Mo Ringey Photograph

Image: faux free-wishes-meteor-shower as seen by squinting at the bridge outside my studio window.

So I looked up shooting stars at space.com and they aren’t really shooting stars no matter how much we call them that. I wasn’t wearing my glasses and so I read *grit*, below, as *gifts*. I read other words wrong too – like the time I was parking and saw a sign that seemed to say, “It’s really awful to park here”.

Anyway–I thought I’d post what I read at space.com but I fixed it to display how it read to me. I kinda like not wearing my glasses. I like squinting too. If you squint at the canal outside my studio at night it looks like Venice, or at least how I remember it from never having been there ever.

Shooting stars are mostly grit gifts from space colliding comingling at very high speed with air molecules hair follicles high up in the sky. As Earth travels travails in its orbit around the sun it runs into cloudsgrit gifts, generally pulverized pummiced rock that also orbits exhibits the sun. Many shooting stars are produced by grit gifts no larger than a grain of sand. Some of the more spectacular ones are pea-sized and the really stunning (but very rare) fireballs furballs are the size of an orange or larger. These objects slide collide with air molecules some 60 miles (95 kilometers) above Earth’s surface and,due to their very high speed, they begin to glow white hot. We see a streak of light as they burn up.

Then I looked up what I wrote in my newsletter at this time last year when I was in San Francisco and it seems I was waxing scientifically then too. As a matter of fact, I wonder about the me that wrote that as it seems familiar but not. And today I don’t know if I could match that so I will excerpt some of that here today because it was about predictions for the new year which is this one, which is just about to turn over to a new 2008 one:

Still unclear, in a rice crispie kind of way, about 2007 and LIFE, I turned to my favorite nonagenarian blogger, Don to Earth, who starts the new blogging year with a bit about gravity (excerpted):, “There is a limited number of ideas that hold up under examination, however insistent, repeated, or challenging. One of these, so far, is “Everything in the universe attracts everything else with a constant and unfailing force”. We know it here as gravity. In our solar system, the planets zoom about in elliptical orbits that slowly decay over time. Eventually, the sun will win and swallow the planets. Further out, all the stars attract all the others, affecting the motions of stars within groups of stars (galaxies), within groups of groups of stars (galaxy clusters). The attractive nature of stuff, or matter, cannot be denied.”

I then decided to google “Predictions for 2007” today and, of the non-doomsday musings, I found a few snippets interesting:

From OMNI Opinion Poll Results: PREDICTIONS FOR 2007 (From 1987)

“The results of the second OMNI Opinion Poll, concerning predictions for the year 2007, turned up some interesting ideas. The least change is envisioned in terms of religion and the arts, while progress is seen for the medical and educational arenas.”

Straightforward enough. And yet then there was this, “Richard Selzer of Yale Medical School believes boredom will be the major medical problem of the future.” It will be interesting to see what the medical community prescribes as the antidote to ennui. In California medicinal herbs are a commonly prescribed antidote for the nausea that follows chemotherapy and I accidentally discovered that a lot of the cookies in this house are “medicinal”. Just tonight I accidentally found out that even the rice crispie snacks on the counter are “medicinal” (is nothing sacred?) and so perhaps that explains the haircut I gave myself and this random train of thought.

So gravity is like a totally infallible flirt and the universe falls for it every time, sometimes to its detriment, and the medical field will make so much progress that our biggest malady will be ennui. I guess I never thought of it in that way and so I found these posts both comforting and disconcerting. Not comforting was that bit about the sun swallowing up all the planets. But since the arts is one area the Omni Poll sees the least change in, I guess that means that they won’t be swallowed up by the Sun or fall prey to boredom soon. And so I have decided that part of why I am here is to miss being there, which is my usual here. I am feeling the horizontal, gravitational attraction to going home.

P.S. The rice crispie comment was because while in SF, I one day found myself suddenly and inexplicably stoned. Later, after a few hours of total yet unfocused fascination with the satellite TV channels, I learned I had accidentally eaten the medicinal peanut butter-cranberry cookies which had special herbs to combat the resulting nausea from my friend’s chemotherapy and radiation. oops.


  1. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search

    A figure of speech, sometimes termed a rhetoric, or locution, is a word or phrase that departs from straightforward, literal language. Figures of speech are often used and crafted for emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use. Note that all theories of meaning necessarily have a concept of “literal language” (see literal and figurative language). Under theories that do not, figure of speech is not an entirely coherent concept.

    As an example of the figurative use of a word, consider the sentence, I am going to crown you. It may mean:

    * I am going to place a literal crown on your head.
    * I am going to symbolically exalt you to the place of kingship.
    * I am going to put a second checker piece on top of your checker piece to signify that it has become a king (as in the game of checkers).
    * I am going to punch you in the head with my clenched fist. <—that was wikipedia not me.

  2. Venice is nice, but not Nice;
    Nice is nice, but not Venice.
    Paris is nice, but not Nice;
    Nice is not Paris, but is very nice.

    Guglielmo W(on’t) Tell

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