1986

halleyscomet1986.jpgThe year was 1986. We lived in a little apartment on Michigan Ave. up in the Compton Heights area. We only lived their six months before we found the place on Dover Pl. A lot happened in that six months of my live, though. We got pregnant and then lost it. You can’t help wondering what could’ve been, you know? Second, the Challenger Accident. I was devastated by that. Especially thinking about all the school kids watching. And third, Halley’s Comet. I went out and bought a little reflector telescope and jimmy-rigged a camera mount to it. A friend from work, who was an amateur photographer, thought he could handle the camera/film part of the job if I could handle the spotting/tracking part of it. So, we went out into the wild flat plains outside of Columbia Illinois and set up. Did I mention we were amateurs? Also when I say I was “tracking” it, I mean I was literally tracking it; with hand controls. What that means is after painstakingly setting up an equatorial mount to align with the axis of the earth, I had to watch through the viewfinder and very, very slowly turn hand-held knobs to follow/compensate for the rotation of the earth throughout the time of the exposure. I think this one picture, the only one that turned out at all, was a 5 or 6 minute exposure. (We took dozens and dozens of pictures.) And, just so you know, the comet is the little fuzzy gray thing, upper middle. The other things are what stars look like if you leave the shutter open for 6 minutes and let a human try to track them.

poetry

This is not the right road

That’s not the right sky

Those aren’t the right trees I see

I shouldn’t be here

Or, I’m not where I should be

Blissfulness lost in the heart of sin

The town-square clock tower rings out

But I can’t hear it

Is it searching for me?

Century-old walls call out

Saying “Apply thine heart..”

But my eyes are filled with tears