I went to the same college for the first year with my closest friend. In rural Colorado, conditions were ideal for an astronomy course that could be held largely outdoors. This poem is drawn from the night before the final exam, in response to an exercise presenting a series of instructions designed to draw out memories that may prove to be material for poems.
In guided meditations, we are often asked to recall a happy, peaceful time and place for various purposes. This is the one that nearly always comes to me. The meditation I reference here is an invocation of the archangels by Rabbi David Cooper.
Invoking the Archangel
Recall a time in which you felt generous,
Open-hearted, available to others,
The rabbi says, and I remember this:
High-desert winter hard in the air, we sat
With our backs against the marble steps of
The courthouse, breath frosting our coat collars.
The stars clear, sharp, and blue at that altitude,
I told my friend their shapes and stories —
Cassiopeia’s W, the square of Pegasus, Orion’s sword.
He passed astronomy by a frozen breath and a
Mind rich with myth and a beauty briefly shared.
I meditate, and I remember this.