Poetry Interlude: Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt

It starts placidly enough:
A couple ice crystals of thought
bumping into each other like
random atoms,
inconveniently colliding as they make their way
purposefully through the universe.
The collisions create energy, though.
The atoms collide with others,
inconveniencing their fellows
up and down the cloud.
The ice itself grows thicker,
building higher,
billowing into a floating, bloated mountain,
feeding on the heat and energy below.
The collisions keep coming,
bringing the moving mass out of balance
with the rest of the world.
Abruptly the atoms achieve critical mass,
crackling with an energy all their own.
No force can stop it,
no logic will deny it;
the wavering electrons must go somewhere.
In a moment, they discharge their fury,
unleashing their destructive force
on the nearest, most prominent target.
With the speed of light
and the righteous power of the gods,
they smite their target, blasting through water, air,
artifacts, people.
The place where the atoms strike is charred,
a smoldering, blackened ruin
where once there had been innocent peace.
The storm passes,
the atoms of thought no longer colliding or inconvenienced.
But the damage has been done.
An ashen hole in the ground marks the thunderbolt’s passage,
eventually to be covered by forgetful grass and weather and time.
But the damage has been done.

/b
11/15/18

Still

Still fluffy on the outside. Plush.
Still bumpy on the inside. Mush.
I don’t pretend to know how to fix
the mess inside.
My only weapons or tools or saviors
are work and peace and writing and time.
Work for distraction.
Peace outside to emulate inside.
Writing to get the gunk out where I can see it,
push it around into smaller, grimy piles and sort it out.
Time to heal and rest and forget.
Maybe, eventually, time to make some slight repairs
to the messes I’ve made, the things & people
I’ve broken.
But I can’t repair others
until I can heal myself.
And the much-too-tender soul
underneath the exterior crust
needs time, as much as the world can spare.
I have a lot to learn about how to heal
and be kind to all, even myself.
Still so much to learn.
Still.

/b

10/12/18

Impressions from AIAA Space 2018, Part 3

This is my third of three summaries of what I observed at the AIAA Space 2018 Forum (the other posts can be found here and here). This isn’t necessarily the last posting on this conference…I might write later about my overall impressions of the space business in a separate entry in a week or two. However, these entries are long enough (this entry runs over 3,300 words, my apologies), so let’s get to it. Continue reading “Impressions from AIAA Space 2018, Part 3”

Impressions from AIAA Space 2018, Part 1

It’s been around 10 years since I last attended a conference for the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the professional association for aerospace engineers. I attended the AIAA Space 2018 Forum this week, and it felt like a different experience from when I was a NASA contractor 2006-2012. I also wasn’t attending as a reporter or for a job, just Bart Leahy, AIAA Member and interested space geek. Part of that could be my age, part of it was a reflection of what’s happening in the space business now. Exciting times to be in the business or just observing it as an interested member of the public. What follows are some of my notes from the various sessions for your reference. Continue reading “Impressions from AIAA Space 2018, Part 1”

What Have I Seen?

You look at me and you see a boring old white guy. I understand. It’s perfectly natural. I’ve got glasses to correct my crap vision. I’m a coward most of the time, preferring inaction over uncertain actions. My body isn’t exactly muscular or lean. So what could I possibly have done with my life that would be of interest to someone younger than me? Continue reading “What Have I Seen?”

Concert Review: Return of the Jedi

Yes, you read that correctly. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (OPO) played a symphonic concert of John Williams’ soundtrack to Return of the Jedi at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in downtown Orlando, Florida. Having missed the first two concerts (Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back), I was determined not to miss this one, if only as a belated birthday present to myself. And wow, I wish I’d gone to the other two. What a marvelous experience! Continue reading “Concert Review: Return of the Jedi”

Living the 48-Hour Film Experience

My buddies Dede (D2) and Curt have been trying to get me involved in the 48-Hour Film Project (hereafter 48HFP) for a while now. This was the first year I was able to participate. Not going to lie: I came out of the experience exhausted and ached in places that I’m not used to aching, but the experience was a hoot, and I highly recommend it to anyone (not in the video-making business) seeking to do something different with their free time. Let’s dive in! Continue reading “Living the 48-Hour Film Experience”