Each time I go for a walk (it doesn't matter whether it's in the city, suburbs, or woods and fields) my senses and my mind suddenly become as alert as they ever are. It's as if each moment, each thing that I see (the movement of people's eyes, the pattern of wind on grasses, the shape of fire escapes, or rooflines) has asked me a question and is waiting for a reply, or maybe even just waiting for a sign that the question has been heard. Or is it me -- have I asked the questions, and am listening, listening . . . ?

Watching the stream of things in this world is like watching a galaxy glinting quietly as it turns on its axis against a black backdrop. I'm an astronomer of the everyday. And like an astronomer, I see nothing but the middles of things yet keep looking for beginnings and ends, or rather the beginning and the end (which may be indistinguishable from each other) --- the end that disguises itself but shapes all that comes before, the lost point in past time that gives a purpose to all that comes afterwards. (We hope.)

Streetcorners; women's shoulders, or men's; the light on backyard lawns; mica-diamonds in the soil of the path, a milky way under my feet --

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