Outside, Overhead

Outside this morning with Blue, starlight fading as morninglight seeps into the sky, I look up to the south. Three still stars stand in a short line. Orion. Not three separate stars, but a single line, sharply defined. Lesser stars around the line construe a constellation that surrounds what becomes a belt. But this morning, standing in the still dark light, bitter coffee steaming in my hand, I’m not in the mood for received myth. Orion, I say. I speak the open and closed letters, strip them of meaning beyond sound and form. I stare at the bright line, a good line, three stars joined by proximity and by rule. Any two points form a straight line. Three adjacent points, if not triangular, these three stars, for instance, are more perfectly straight—even, I think as I eye them, if strict rule would exclude the middle star from the straight line. It is a perfect image of a short line, a short line powerful in its trinity. Before the coffee is gone, before Blue reappears from the oak grove, the starline gives way to the indistinct light of dawn.

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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2 Responses to Outside, Overhead

  1. flowerville says:

    a line in its trinity, i like that. the perfectionism of the line and three is more perfect than two. then – multiplicity is more perfect than singularity/perfectionism defined by dominance of the singular (two endstars),….and adding in the third not entirely fitting star to that perfect line, that’s a more generous & richer way of thinking perfectionism….
    hope blue suffering not too much from his mouthoperation.


  2. Scott Abbott says:

    thanks for the thoughtful response. i was wondering if i perhaps had wandered off into a dead end. your comment reassures me.
    blue’s tongue hangs out, not constrained by that left, lower canine tooth. but he’s not self-conscious in the least and, most importantly, seems as healthy as his advancing age allows.


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