Monday, February 15, 2010




: a compact instrument used to observe and calculate the position of celestial bodies before the invention of the sextant

this word is semi-relevant these days, as i am taking a literature course in the pre-modern beginnings of science fiction. although, from further research, the ASTROLABE is an earlier device, already moving toward archaic by the time it reached the era i'm studying. by this time the sextant was of more relevance—it appears on the cover of one of my texts for this class.

all of this doesn't really matter; it would be too obvious to talk about today's word in the context of this class anyway.

the ASTROLABE was also used to determine local time by locating the position of the sun: a medieval clock of sorts. this will be the third blog in a week in which i have at least mentioned an issue regarding time (see Feb. 12 and Feb. 14). so, what's my deal? why do i keep talking about time?

these days, time is one of the only things i have faith in. it is constant (despite skewed perceptions). it is always moving forward. and with it, i will arrive at a distant wisdom that can be achieved by no other means.

just give it time.

the cure-all. my grandmother used to say that water cured everything. i would always respond: what if i was drowning?

my father fought as a sailor in the Korean War. while in service overseas his ship docked for some time on the italian coast; he was able to meet his grandmother in sicily. he used to tell a story about going for a swim off the italian riviera. he swam out too far, got caught up in the undertow. he yelled for help, but no one came until he said it in italian.

right now, i am riding a wave of time, fighting against the undertow, trying to make my way out to sea from the safety of an island that i must leave. today i am further out. the island is small and my eyes cannot discern its precise lines and shapes. this is good. i'm tired from swimming against the current, but i keep moving, looking forward to the smooth water that will pull me out to sea.

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