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Snapshots of When

starsI was walking the other evening.  It seems like every time I see the stars, things get all profound and big-picture.  When I got home, I started writing some things that summed up the memories that have, for better or worse, shaped me.


When the two lanes merged, I wondered if they were happy together

When I saw how much snow was on his shoes, I realized how long he’d been waiting outside for me

When the photo came out, I was blurry and unreal

When I beat my hero for the first time, I wanted to take it back

When I read the poem about the Learned Astronomer, I shivered in recognition of truth

When I awoke, the echo of the wind let me know that I was still dreaming

When my son was five minutes old, I realized that life before him had not been real

When the hourglass broke, it was full of mud

When the sky fell, it wasn’t as heavy as I’d expected

When I learned the meaning of addiction, I had never heard the word

When I told her how I felt, it was too late

When the memory faded, I lost the journal I wrote it in and forgot completely

When I could speak again, I had lost half the notes in my singing range

When the stitches came out, I learned the scientific definition of 100%

When I approached the mirror, I could not make eye contact with the stranger inside

When nothing needed to be said, we were never more connected


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  • Henri December 14, 2009, 1:59 am

    Awesome stuff! Thanks for sharing, Josh.

  • Heather December 14, 2009, 7:00 am

    Josh, dude, you so totally rock! I liked what you said about life really “happening” when Max was five minutes old. That is just. . . effing. . . .wow! As far as the memory/journal/lost the whole thing bit—I have lost so many awesome shrot story titles and poems this way. SUCH a bummer. . . . Ain’t it amazin’ how you can write something like this–something that you may think, in the back of your head, “Man, no one’s gonna really relate to this, if anyone even cares. . . ” and then you find out that pretty much most of the world (and I’m betting nearly everyone who reads this blog) has similar experiences and “memories”. SUCH an awesome post! Thanks! You so totally made my day!

    • Josh Hanagarne December 14, 2009, 4:24 pm

      I’m glad, Heather. I’ll never forget the moment I looked at that boy and it all changed.

  • Christa Avampato December 14, 2009, 8:41 am

    This is a gorgeous post. What a stunning way to capture memories that have shaped you. Beautiful!


  • Srinivas Rao December 14, 2009, 10:10 am

    Nice post and an interesting style of sharing your experiences.

  • terena December 14, 2009, 10:29 am

    when the sky fell, it wasn’t as heavy as I expected. Ain’t that the truth. And although I know this, it seems that I keep preparing for the sky being heavy enough to flatten me.

  • Lori December 14, 2009, 3:59 pm


    • Josh Hanagarne December 14, 2009, 4:12 pm

      That’s a word I don’t hear often enough. Bravo, Lori.

  • Jodi at Joy Discovered December 14, 2009, 4:41 pm

    Every one of these lines makes me want more of the story that could go along with it. You are a poet!

    • Josh Hanagarne December 14, 2009, 4:51 pm

      I’m a hideous ogre and my heart is a shriveled and burnt kidney bean. How’s that for poetry!

  • Zeenat{Positive Provocations} December 14, 2009, 10:10 pm

    Magnificently beautiful 🙂
    Awesome writing Josh…hats off to your literary skills 🙂

  • Jonny | thelifething.com December 15, 2009, 6:33 am

    Beautifully reflective. Watch out with spending too much time under the stars, you may become a Philosopher.