[ based on “0 hundred-fifty (A moment at the gallery on one afternoon) Fireworks”]

     It was about twenty-five years ago, in an early June, that an artist friend and his curator wife, being off to Europe for a spell, offered me—and my son, who was them about eight—the use of their house in the countryside north of Toronto.  The offer included access to their half-ton pickup as well.  We loved this house and hung out there like father-and-son bachelors, dining happily on extra-large pizzas and brimming saucepans of Kraft Dinner.   Sometimes we’d hop into the truck—we loved the truck —and drive to the nearest town for cheeseburgers and fries.
     One night there was a power blackout and rather than sit in the silent, TV-less dark, we decided to clamber into the truck (which had headlights, of course, and the warm, comforting glow of an instrument panel) and drive around a bit, marveling at the dense, velvety blackness of the de-electrified woods and fields.  Our headlights probed into this featureless infinity like a thief’s flashlight.
     I remember our coming to a crossroads at one point in our drive, and my suggesting that we turn off the truck for a couple of minutes and find out what the silent darkness might bring.  What it brought, out of the stillness, was an entire meadow of fireflies—thousands and thousands of them, floating like a twinkling blanket over the land.  It was perfectly quiet, and yet the brilliant field of winking insects seemed to emit an inexplicable sound.  Not a humming or buzzing insect sound, but something unearthly—like the sound of shining.