Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sieste

There is nothing quite like the clatter of power tools to wake you gently from an afternoon nap. But the sun that was shining upon my lying upside down on my quilt-covered bed, felt like an anomaly in the midst of this slow démarche from winter rains back into the steady months of sun, that I had left my large bay window open to warm my small room. In my sleeping the noise had come, the wind too, widening the opening of my window from a crack, to an unforgiving gape, as a mouth widening to allow an entrance or exit. And through quick, half-conscious glances, I can remember as in dreaming, looking at the clouds gathering there, flaunting their deep grey underbellies and peering in my window with the bright and almost blinding light of a hidden spring sun.
It was rude of them to come that way, while I had been clearly out of sorts, but nature has a way of taking advantage of the gluttons, and it is true that the deep, drunkenness of such a warm afternoon nap could be counted as nothing less than debauchery. Now in the heavy work of late afternoon-waking, the gawk of my window has never been so pronounced, flagrantly announcing the entrance of such an unwelcome collection of auditory guests, the preliminary winds of ruinous rain pressing and testing the construction of the trees across the street, and the disquieting cries of some power tool shredding something lovely, as the quiet of my own front yard, as it rips me from my weighty dreaming.
In a weary and unbalanced swagger, I sling myself up to my feet, and limpingly move to latch the window shut. There is quiet still obtainable. And though what looks like mist has transformed the day, earlier uniquely charged with warm and moist Southern mountain air, into the grey of something much more expectable, I can see that some light clings to the sky and still yet the warmest moments of evening sun is to be seen. So in an act of repentance for such afternoon indulgences, I know I must go outside, to walk, as I promised I would before coming home, as the evening would surely have a graceful, blushing sunset worth seeing with warm and inviting light. I know this too is an indulgence, but one of another kind, one acceptable to gorge on in these warming spring evenings who, by their design, learn to hold their violet light longer into the evening, only letting the night blend in its darker shades after we've retreated from the dinner table, admitting to another end of day.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Last Light

There is a time of night here in Pau, that always presents itself suddenly. The hour when the final parts of what is obviously day leaves, and only those who look out their windows or happen to be still making their way home see the change, catch the light that rests in the last visible clouds, charged with color from the sun who has already made his way behind the blackening mountians.
It is the time when you must turn on the first lights of evening to continue your reading by, or prepare your meal.
Each tall house on the street out my window begins to slowly illuminate itself. Each room one by one, inside the kitchen, living room, entryway, there is life and there is movement. These small houses on the street like doll houses, lit up by hesitant candle light not yet holding its full strength against a still grey sky.
These small, toy signs of life populate my evenings with silent gestures in the window panes, with whispers just far enough not to be heard.
But this eclipse of time passes quickly, and soon the quiet, heavy of night  invades the boundaries of this imagined childhood safety and places itself as equally in plain view as in that which is hidden.
Our front doors closing behind the dog let in for the evening, our curtains drawing, our gates locking, and the street lights finally coming aglow. Theirs will be the light to lead the last few home, and theirs will be the light by which I will see you, hands full of groceries, closing the gate to your yard and disappearing into the now darkness of your mild home.

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