Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Transit of Venus

Transit of Venus

0 days, 0 hours, 0 minutes

I had been waiting for the transit of Venus for 18 months, but when it came time to watch the star I was born under cross the face of the sun for the first time in 132 years, there was nothing to see. It was raining in Atlanta, and while friends of mine dreamed strange and complicated things hundreds of miles away from me, I slept only in fits and starts, waking at 3a.m. to listen to the rain, my cat’s demands for attention, and the sound of my own heart. There was no sunrise to watch Tuesday morning.

I resolved some issues with my work environment Monday, and that had settled my stomach a bit, along with the security check I had done on my new building, the one where I’ll be living alone for the first time. There are keypad locks on the front of the apartment complex. Lots of other single women live there, many of whom have large friendly dogs. My windows are on the second story, and there’s a modern fire escape that gives me a back exit but which would be difficult for a thief to enter. Hardening my resolve to live alone was my younger roomie’s free use of my cookie dough, and the sudden interruption of water service to the rental house, probably due to the landlord’s inattention again. I really do have a genetic predisposition to having my utilities disconnected. At least in the new place it will probably only be my fault.

Audrey and I had our once-a-month lunch Tuesday afternoon, and I was happy that Jamie came with her and Colin this time. Work was incredibly busy that day, and after a night of little sleep I needed a long lunch of solid food and coffee to keep me going. After they left, I grinned for the rest of the day, because I realized that although I was exhausted, I was happy. I was tired physically from lack of sleep, tired mentally from all the stress surrounding my work and living situations, tired emotionally from relationship and family drama.

You know what makes this all okay? That I can sit and laugh and eat with friends – Audrey and Jamie, Kati on the phone reassuring me, Underdown, sick with strep throat needing the company of my voice, Dust needing distraction from his own problems. Winn and I laughing about fandom, Tony and Aral and everyone else planning the yearly big end of summer party. It’s going to be OK. It’s going to be alright. I can do this, this horrible and beautiful thing called being in charge of my own life.

I watched the transit of Venus on the internet just before going to bed Tuesday night. Someone with a telescope in Germany had made a Quick-Time movie of the different stages of progress of the transit, and so I watched Venus move across the face of the sun from half a world away as a recording. It was beautiful, just a simple black dot on the bright round ball that gives us light and life every day. Venus tracked across the sun in front of Earth yesterday, and it will do this again in 12 years, just to show me how small an entire planet is in the face of the sun. My problems are so tiny, and the source of warmth and light is so large.

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