April 10th, 2003

bazille_summer scene

April Moods

A pleasant enough day, aside from the crashing of the computer. Once I realized that Sluggo was in one of his ornery moods, I just went out and did other things and let him sulk. We have gone from uncommonly cold for the time of year to uncommonly warm, and the town is suddenly full of shirtlessness and fresh sunburns. I, of course, cling to a light jacket, as always. I have escaped burning for many years, now, and intend to maintain my unblemished record. I barely remember what it was like to peel. However, I do recall the pain of the last truly intense sunburn I got, when I was about ten or eleven years old. I could barely walk for three days. An experience such as that teaches caution quite effectively.

In the long evening, there were voices nearby from games such as I recall, and they summoned my thoughts to the worlds from which age has banished me, where the perfect half moon emerged in the deepening cobalt sky as lights came on in safe windows, and there was no need to return home just yet, or yet, or yet. Lingering to watch the stars emerge, listening to the echoes of our voices, breathing the cool evening in, the gathered night ours, it was as though no clock had yet been made, and time told only by the turning earth. I never know that feeling now, except for brief moments such as this, which tick away and vanish like the last glow of sunset, or the lives of old companions long unseen. We've all gone in, and the lights gone out, and ourselves embarked on dreams both duller and darker than we imagined on any timeless evening now lost.
caillebotte_man at his window

Night Thoughts

The slow-changing woods and fields lie in dark repose, and the fowl and beasts of night make hardly a stir. The houses, thin and silent, frail things of few years, are wrapped in earth's shade after moonset. Ancient stone heaved heavenward again and again, and now, for a time, at rest, supports the fragile moment, this transient place and all the minds in foundered sleep; the works of man, and nature's softest realm, rushing stream and darting bat, empty pavements, silent workshops, coiled snake and watchful deer, ticking clocks that sound in restless sleepers dreams, seeded ground and creaking branch, all strewn across the clinging skin of soil. Eyes closed, I can imagine I feel the speed of turning earth, and its long wheel about the sun. How far, I wonder, has it traveled while this oak grew, or that pine, or while these roads were laid across the rumpled ridges of this brief town? How small a fraction is that of the distance it traversed in the ages that these mountains rose? Across the street a window lights in an early-rising neighbor's house. Someone's day begins before the dawn, their coffee brewed with water already ancient when it was home to the first trilobites, in some distant space from which the stars were strange. As I watch the shaft of light from the window, in my thoughts the house is blown through the universe like a speck of dust on unending wind.
caillebotte_man at his window

Bright Gray

Afternoon was all drifting mist, beading new leaves and fresh flowers with fine bright drops. Glistening streets shimmered with reflections of clouds. Occasional showers of rain fell when darker clouds drifted by, but the rain now being warm with spring, birds continued to fly and sing, and to peck in the moist earth. With evening, the sky cleared enough to allow the waxing moon to alternately peek and hide, and illuminate the drifting white strands which trailed the soft storm. Now stars are out, and cool satin breezes brush the night, inviting the leaves to dance.