February 17th, 2003

caillebotte_man at his window


The moon is quite full tonight, and currently hangs above a cloud shaped exactly like a question mark. I have no answer. In lieu of an answer, a poem by Pierre Reverdy:


Under the arch of hard clouds
To the noise of abandoned voices
On the white sidewalks and rails
Across the branches of time
I have watched your shadow go by
Alone between obscure signs
Shafts of moving light
Transparent in the reflections of false store windows
As she went on and she went on
You never walked so quickly
I recalled your face
But it was not so big
And then I looked around
To find you again
In the echoes of the day rolling in my memory

Threads of memories cling to the branches
Leaves glide down through blue air against the wind
A stream of bright blood slides under the stones
Tears and rain on the same blotter
Then it's all mixed up in shock in the thickest wadding
The heart loses its way in the tangles of fate
Always the same one stops
Always the same one returns

The sun went out
I looked further
Your footprints embroidered the dust with gold
And everything that wasn't there
In the flames of evening devouring the earth

--Pierre Reverdy, translation by Kenneth Rexroth

Winter's long nights bring more hours of moonlight, in spite of the many nights when it is obscured by heavy clouds. I think that's the thing I like most about winter. Lots of moonlight.

caillebotte_the balcony


My friends page is full of snow reports from the east, and here is California basking in sunshine, while what little snowpack has accumulated in the Sierra melts away.

I can sympathize with the snowbound, though. A dozen or so years ago, we were the recipients of two back-to-back storms which dumped a total of 30 inches in this part of town. The power went off on the second evening of the storm, and was not restored for two days-- even longer in some other parts of town. The snowplows could not keep up with the drifts, even on the main roads, and the narrow roads were full of stranded cars. The roofs of four stores collapsed, and all the stores in the northern section of town were closed, due to the danger of collapse. Our only source of heat was a Franklin stove, and a nephew who was staying with us at the time had a propane-fired camp cooker on which we could make soup and cereal. Because we had an electric water heater at the time, there was no water for showers until the power was restored. It was quite an experience, being cold, itchy and stranded. That was the only really big snowstorm I've ever seen, and I hope I never have to endure another. So, my sympathy to everyone who is dealing with that sort of situation right now-- although, if your power is off, you probably aren't reading this.

Well, I am going to go take a shower, and revel in the fact that I can. It's good to be reminded once in a while that all those ordinary things can vanish overnight. May your power remain on, and your Internet connections not go down.