||[Nov. 8th, 2015|06:48 pm]
Sunrise brought only a few minutes of brightness, finding the horizon a thin band of cloudless sky and sending light that filled the eastern rooms of my house with gold. Then the sun rose higher and was lost in the gray mass of clouds. The clouds did no more than sprinkle or drizzle for most of the day, but an hour before nightfall soft rain began falling steadily, and it has fallen ever since, sometimes softly and sometimes vigorously, with gusts of wind blowing it onto the porch. The sound of its drumming is all around, and the gurgling of the downspouts. The rain is supposed to intensify after eight o'clock. It could turn out to be a fierce night. I'm glad I'm enjoying the storm from inside a warm(ish) house. |
As there were only sprinkles early this morning it was possible to get the leaves into the wheelie bins before they got too wet after all. They will be hauled away on Tuesday, and their imminent departure has led me to wonder how many tons of leaves I've shifted about in my lifetime. Fewer than half of this seasons leaves have fallen, and already eight bins have been hauled away. The lawn is already covered with more, and I'll have to rake again after the storm.
Among the tons of leaves I've raked there were the camphor leaves where I lived before, and the eucalyptus at the house before that. Camphor and eucalyptus are both evergreens, and shed some leaves year round, so if the raking there never got too overwhelming (except perhaps after very strong windstorms) it never really ended, either. I'm not sure which condition I prefer. Having months without raking is nice, but having weeks when a great deal of raking must be done every day or two is very annoying. I suppose the ideal situation would be to spend fall in Los Angeles doing a little bit of raking, then the rest of the year here doing almost none. But then I'd have to find somebody to stay here and rake for two months a year. Three, if you count the late-falling mulberry leaves in the front yard. No, I guess it's not doable. Too bad.
Or I could just get rich and hire somebody to do the raking and live where I pleased. Yeah, that could happen. I'm sure I could get the feral cats to rake leaves, once I become a wizard. Anyway. I don't have to rake while it's raining, so I'm just going to enjoy the storm. Please may the power stay on, though.
by Eugenio Montale
The pulley of the well-shaft creaks,
water rises to the light and dissolves you.
A memory trembles in the refilled pail,
an image smiles in its pure circle.
Touch your face to evanescent lips:
the past wavers, grows old,
belongs to another…
Ah, how the wheel groans
already, returns you to the dark depths,
vision, a distance divides us.
—translated by A. S. Kline
And in Italian...
Cigola la carrucola del pozzo,
l'acqua sale alla luce e vi si fonde.
Trema un ricordo nel ricolmo secchio,
nel puro cerchio un'immagine ride.
Accosto il volto ad evanescenti labbri:
si deforma il passato, si fa vecchio,
appartiene ad un altro...
Ah che già stride
la ruota, ti ridona all'atro fondo,
visione, una distanza ci divide.