Friday, July 10, 2015

Comet? What comet?

Day twenty-three: I have been distracted today by the differing shades of the Red Sea, which I can see from my apartment. It really is beautiful, deep blue, turquoise, sky blue and a shade I think would be called eggshell blue. The sky looks pale and washed out by comparison. I've added a photo but it really does not do it justice.

What I was thinking about was the recent conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, which I missed. I’ve missed all the celestial viewings, either due to bad weather or simple forgetfulness. I forgot about Venus and Jupiter, although I’m not sure if I could have seen them from my apartment anyway. I do lack any and all sense of direction. The only reason I know which way is east is because the sun rises over the sea every morning. Cue sunrise picture.

When I was younger I spent a bit of time living with my grandmother. She told me stories of when she saw Halley’s Comet, and what a wonderful spectacle it was. So, in 1986 when it returned I determined to see it. I was living with my father at that time, outside Kenilworth. The sky was full of stars every night since there were no large towns around to disturb the dark. I’m sure Halley’s Comet was a great thing to see – but I missed it. I was working at a job where I rose at 4.30am to go to work so I also went to bed early.

On the night I decided to see Halley’s Comet I set myself an internal alarm to wake at the premium viewing time. I didn’t wake of course, I woke hours later. I decided I’d still go outside and take a look just in case it was still visible. It wasn’t. At the time my father lived in a small house on a hill and there was quite a slope up to the next level part. Cement steps led up to that area and that was where I was standing. When I turned to go back down the steps something happened, I don’t to this day know what. It resulted in me falling down those steps – there were five or six but they were big steps. I fell awkwardly onto the concrete, got up and tried to walk, found that my left ankle would not support me and fell forward, ending up at the back steps into the house. I travelled in my fall and stumble about ten metres and have no idea how I did it.

It was late, I was tired, I was cross because I missed the damned comet, and my ankle hurt. So I hobbled to bed and went to sleep. The next morning, well I could not walk and my ankle had turned a most unattractive shade of black and blue, from the sole halfway up the calf. I hadn’t broken anything (I have bones of steel, I’ve never broken anything however I’ve done some pretty spectacular soft tissue damage) but had torn who knows how many tendons and ligaments in my foot. I couldn’t put that foot down for weeks, and it took months for it to heal. Even now, if I walk too much, my left ankle will swell and ache.

So that was Halley’s Comet. Or not Halley’s Comet. There have been other comets, there have been asteroid showers, all kinds of things and I have missed them all. I did read that Venus will be showing brighter and brighter all this month so hopefully I will remember to go and look one night before the end of the month.

I don’t know why I forget things like that, things that I really want to see. I do it with television shows that I think I will like – and there are not many. I look forward to them, even set reminders on my phone and still manage to forget. I do it with books I want to read so that I’ve learned to write down every title while I’m thinking of it. I even do it with grocery shopping. I walk into a grocery store and my mental list of things to get stays outside, sitting on a lounge and drinking coffee I'm sure. So I write a grocery list too, even if it’s only three items.

Why do I do this to myself? I think that I do not spend enough time thinking about the comet/show/book and so it flits into my short term memory and flits right out again without taking the longer trip to long term memory. So I forget. I am naturally disorganized, I only get things done by sticking to a routine and by writing everything down in order of priorities. Maybe I should do this with things for me, as well as for work things. Maybe I should have thought of that sooner! 

Now that I have so much more to do each day than just writing I have to be extra organised. I have to write down everything I must do and all the people I must contact, or I will be going around in circles all day and finish up achieving nothing. It's exciting, this beginning of a new direction and the first steps in fulfilling my dream. It's busy though, and it does take away from my writing time. I can see already that I'm going to have to rethink my schedule and my routine to maximise my available hours. The future is almost here.

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