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Spectrum cone

how long can eyes spill tears?


How high can temperature
in frigid air?

How long can it take for
to become truth?

How long can
spill tears?

How long can I

(2003-04-28) This was written right after the explosion of the Columbia shuttle, for Ilan Ramon.


On the last day he made an entry (on a journal page which survived the crash for us), Col. Ramon wrote "Today was the first day that I felt that I am truly living in space. I have become a man who lives and works in space."

"How long can I mourn you?"

Well... about the same time as the crash, Ki was writing and revising her short story "To the Stars", and writing a guitar melody & lyrics for a song titled the same thing. It was her approach to "working in space" from the computer in her bedroom.

I'm sure that one powerful theme affecting her was the inevitability of death and the inability of the crew to be able to do anything about it. Their meters were telling them the same thing as Mission Control was seeing -- one after another of the heat sensors in the wing were going off the top of their red zones and burning out, they could watch the progress of the fires eating further into their wing. From 37 miles up, at high velocity, and from the static computer desks in Houston/Kennedy Space Center. An equally vivid sense comes in Ki's short story, where she lies disabled under the building wreckage -- it's been hit by at least one guided missile -- and the rescuers pass by, Ki thinks that either she is already dead or she is just fine compared to others who need rescue more than she does. They'll come back.

So Ilan's diary pages (some of them) made it. And Ki's creative work.

Similar things resonate in their messages.

Eventually grief and mourning can both be borne on spectral bridges, and over them... surmounting darknesses.

And time too.