I had a rough summer. I don’t like summer. Most of my friends know this and I think I’ve mentioned it here as well. I don’t know why I don’t like summer. I have spent far too much time trying to figure out why I don’t like summer. I have often said it’s that I don’t like the sun, but that’s not true either. A winter sun is something I love.
Last night I couldn’t sleep so I did what I always do and I read about space. I found myself reading about “diamond rain” which is created within the slushy oceans on both Uranus and Neptune. It falls in toward their rocky cores. This is why these icy planets are warmer than they should be even though they exist so very far from the sun. This phenomenon keeps them warm. That seems pretty clever to me.
If you can consider a planet clever.
I started taking Prozac again. I went off it in early spring because of a 30-pound weight gain and because I believed I had my shit together. It’s funny how being treated for depression can lead one into thinking they are no longer depressed. Funny how that works. Anyway, once the half-life ended—which took a while, something like 12 weeks—I found myself incapable of finding comfort in the seconds that hold together the minutes, which make up every hour and so looking ahead at years seemed horribly overwhelming. I found myself glorifying the past, even pasts I didn’t particularly like during their given present. I glorified those too. The future seemed impossible; the past was preferable; and so the now felt like a meaningless state of purgatory.
So I went back on medication and the minutes got better. The hours too.
I am not looking at the years just yet.
Uranus is on its side, which is a funny thing to say since it lives in space where there is no real top or bottom or edges, but they mean its pole faces (or doesn’t face) the sun. In other words, if Earth is on a 27% tilt, Uranus is on a 97% tilt.
(I don’t like giving out incorrect information and the percentages I gave you above came from memory, so excuse me for a second as I take a break from this stream of consciousness to check my facts.)
- The Earth’s axis is tilted about 23.5 degrees
- Uranus is tilted at an angle of 98 degrees
(Ok, so I was pretty close. I wish I could remember where Elliot’s library books are.)
There are four seasons on Uranus. But it takes 84 Earth-years for Uranus to orbit the sun. That means each season on Uranus is 21 years long.
During winter, the pole not facing the sun doesn’t see light for 21 years.
I guess summer isn’t all that bad.
People smarter than me are pretty sure Uranus got knocked over sometime right after it formed. Like, it’s hanging out all normal, one pole down and one pole up (in relation to the sun, of course) and some rogue object hit it so hard, it fell off its axis. What type of object could have done such a thing to such an enormous planet?
That object must have been huge.
Recently, I was among a bunch of other moms on a playground, moms I didn’t know. And I felt out of place and bizarre and foreign. I never know what to say to groups of people who seem to know one another or who know how to break the ice. And so I stood there hoping to blend in with the surroundings—blend in just enough to have my awkwardness not be noticed. And just as I start to feel like that’s working, like the place in which I’m standing is solid, I’m not being noticed and no one cares that I exist at all, my youngest child runs full force into my pelvic bone. A sound comes out of my mouth, a guttural sound, one I didn’t consciously mean to create at all. I think it was something like “oooooerulphurh”. I buckle at the waist, nearly fall over, but then quickly regain my composure, embrace gravity and stand upright again.
I am not sure what the years will bring me down here on Earth but there is diamond rain on a planet whose pole doesn’t see the sun for 21 years; a planet with 27 moons, rings and oceans; a planet so far from our galaxy’s heat source it’s forced to create its own diamonds in order to keep itself warm.
I hope I’m getting closer to my diamonds.