January 15th, 2004

caillebotte_the orangerie


A moon the shape of a laugh brightens the now clear sky. Its great visual Ha! booms across the otherwise still night. What makes it so happy, I wonder? Or, why should I see that shape as happy? Is it merely its correspondence to an open smile? Or is it that there is something inherently delightful in that particular combination of curves? Curves in general are pleasant to me, in most circumstances. I like the sweep of a curved road, or the varied arcs of a range of rounded hills, or the merging S curves that bring a leaf to a point. As much as I like a shrub that grows wild in a tangle of woven branches, there are places where I prefer to see them clipped into rounded shapes. A garden filled with them is always a cheerful place for me. It isn't that other shapes do not please me, only that curves are more likely to make me happy. Perhaps there is some infant memory of breasts associated with comfort and contentment. Whatever the reason, I cannot look at the moon early in its last quarter and not be pleased by it. Tonight, it makes up for the fact that there were only brief showers of rain, and no fog. If the weather had to be clear, this was certainly the best night for it.
caillebotte_man at his window


I saw the fog rising from the valley at dusk. It was a tumbling mass of darkness boiling into the clear cobalt of evening sky. Within a few minutes, it had been obscured by both darkness and the condensing moisture which had given halos to all the lights along the block. Within half an hour, the forest was shrouded with fog, and glowing blooms would sprout from the glaring headlights of cars heading up the nearby hills. Soon, even those were swallowed by the increasingly thick cocoon which had woven itself over everything. Sounds were muffled, and the visible world shrank to a few ghostly trees. Now, a dozen steps from my house, I can be wrapped in dank, scented darkness, isolated from any discernable surroundings. I can imagine I hear the moss grow.