A flash of green

There is something that happens, not very often. A flash of green upon the sea. Sailors have spoken of it for years. No one knows why it happens.

I saw it once. I was sitting on my surfboard. There weren't alot of waves that morning, mostly really small shorebreak. I had paddled out about 200 meters from the shore. It was dawn.

It started out as a beam of light that shot out from the horizon and lifted up into the sky. It was definitely green. It was bright , yellowish green. The beam looked at first like a searchlight, only from a search light that was shooting straight across the water to me . I remember it lifted up from the ocean and then slammed down on the water and the entire horizon was flooded with bright green.

Sometimes people report seening bright bands of light. A.A. Carnegie , of the SS. Patrick Stewart, cruising in the Gulf of Oman, reported the following to the Royal Meterological Society Quarterly Journal, 32:280, 1906 from his ship's log:

"At 10:30 pm, I was on watch and noticed ahead of the ship a bank of apparently queiscent phosphorescence.. When we got to within twenty yards of the whitish water, I saw it break into life and light - shafts of brilliant light came sweeping across the ship's bow at a prodigious speed, which might be put down as anything between sixty and two hundred miles an hour. Then we steamed into the light, and the effect was weird to a degree. It was just as if a large gun with a rectangular muzzle were shooting bars of light at us from infinity. These light bars were about twenty feet apart and most regular; their brilliancy was dazzling. They first struck us on our broadside, and I noticed to the lee side that an intervening ship had no effect on the light beams; they started away from the lee side of the ship just as if they travelled right through it. "

Perhaps at these times we see beyond our own time into something eternal. It is not a practical thing. Can a young child be taught how to add, or subtract, by teaching them about infinity? Where does infinity fit into every day life? Infinity is mostly an abstraction, and many times even those who live in homes by the sea do not look for the flash of green. Others seek it out and they believe it will change their life. It might be a little bit like seeking out the infinite. Either you are interested in these things, or not. Life goes on.

I don't know if the things you seek out change you or if telling their story makes any difference . Lately I have been wondering if the story is true. They say the flash of green changes you if you see it. The green flash is a sunset mirage, basically, but lots of people looking for it aren't sure what they're seeing or what they're supposed to see.

David McCree, a St. Petersburg writer, watches over the Gulf Coast for his Web site, www.beachhunter.net. This is his story: "For nearly 20 years, every time I watched the sun slip into the Gulf, I squinted and concentrated and tried to summon the green flash. To no avail. I had decided it was a myth -- like the Bermuda Triangle. That's why I was so excited on Aug. 4, 1994, to actually see the green flash with my own eyes. "On the spur of the moment I decided to drive out to Bradenton Beach to watch the sun go down. I felt I had plenty of time, so I took a circuitous route to one of my favorite sunset-watching places: the jetty at Longboat Pass. It looked like it was going to be a spectacular sunset, but I would have to hurry. Just as I cleared the sea oats, the last third of the fireball was about to disappear. "Then something totally unexpected happened. As the last tiny bit of sun was about to go under, it seemed to double in size and change instantly to a bright lime green. "It was green neon. It was unmistakable. It was the GREEN FLASH."

(next door TV's flashing blue.. frames on the wall..) I am going to watch the filme "proof" next. Its a decent film I think. I am still looking forward to watching "no country for old men". I am grateful sometimes for the art of the filmmaker for not only bringing out talent in the people he's working with - like my uncle, or my girlfriend in college - a actress and someone who before she left college to start a rock band, was basically known for her supporting role in the Tampa/ St. Petersburg film called "A Flash of Green" - but also for their ability to slow us down at times and help us to see the wonder of the world around us.

I saw, again - the film - "The Fountain" by Darren Aronovsky. It was very hard to see it. I had to slow down and concentrate. Whether we are being taken towards a dying star or walking through a hall of suspended lights. The pace and beauty of the film worked its way into me and as it did the first time I saw it, this second time - only seeing the sequence from the moment they are in the bathttub (where his wife realizes she cannot feel hot or cold) to the scene where she dies - made me stop and think carefully about my next steps in life. About the world around me. The things that I have seen. And the people I know.

We don't choose our parents, or our children. We think we can choose our spouse. Perhaps God chooses our spouse. But in the end, whether or not we are remembered. Or whether or not we have made our lives extraordinary - likely requires someone else in the world to be looking for it. Like the last moment of a dying star.

Or a flash of green. We are dead for so long. And alive for so little time. What will our next existence be? Does it end here. The wife of the main character in "The Fountain" knew that she would die. And she accepted it.

I don't. I am fighting for every moment of my life. I am grateful that there are moments, like today when I met a wonderful little girl - or yesterday, when I was fortunate to catch a moment from "The Fountain" - or sometime in the last week when my birthday happened. And they threw a surprise party for me, with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream (its made with whips). I cherish each and every one of them. I love all of you.

Thank you for being here. Please go back through the months and read the other works I have written. I promise I will get around to writing about kinky sex + embedding images of Betty Page in this blog - but for now. If you are fast enough. You were here. And this was a flash of green.

I don't know who you are. And I don't want to. I just want you to enjoy this part of life. And look around - even if the other person wants to hit you in the head with a chair. Remember. There are things that will happen that you can't explain. Things that only happen once. Keep your eyes open. One day maybe you will see it as well. Thanks again. If you want. I would love to hear something you saw that you could not explain?

Oddly enough this post was actually inspired by my meeting a little autistic girl today. And I could not explain it but I knew she would do great things. I feel sometimes that I love people so much that I want to hurt them - hard to explain, I don't want to beat anyone up but I just want to ... its hard to explain. But just seeing this little girl made a huge impact on my day + it gave me hope. Even if every neuron in my mind were isolated. If all that was left of me were a patchwork puzzle of disconnected offices in a giant building that could not communicate with one another, or could only communicate by fax or something - and I were taken down to my lowest common denominator. That feeling of confusion - where my love for someone crosses over into a kind of gnawing feeling that I sort of want to bite them on the shoulder. That drive to connect with life and others and the world around me. Will survive. She and I will be great friends. I hope. I do not know.

All I know is that the moment I saw her I remembered that morning on the ocean. Where the light picked itself up off the water in a beam and then flooded the sky with bright green light.


I am here and wonder lately
if I am dying quickly now
without the will
to keep fighting.

The thought and memory
of your bleeding shoulder
made me sort of smile
(you will understand this, no one else ever can).

I think it is regret
for the loss of the mind
that touched my mind
that so flattens my heart now.

The chasing, the wonder
of new things and places
of life through the eyes
of another who could actually "see" the green flashes that I miss so much.

Chorky says hello and
that he misses you too.

Some will nail me
to a St Andrews cross
for this post today,
when it is only you
who can do that
and make a difference.

Hanging on my my handcuffs.
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