February 18th, 2004

gericault_raft of the medusa 1


These days don't dawn, but merely grow pale. The drenched trees gradually appear, looking more bedraggled each day. I remember nights when I drank too much and stayed out too late, and stumbled home in gray light as dim as my muddled thoughts. The way I felt then is the way everything looks now. At least the rain has now slowed to a slight drizzle, and the downspout once again discharges a mere trickle. It's time for this party to end. Oh, let there be sunlight this afternoon!
caillebotte_the orangerie

Blinded by the Light

Sometime while I slept the rain stopped, and I woke to a blaze of light splashing my window, the songs of exuberant birds, and the absence of any sound of water. It took most of the afternoon for the clouds to surrender the greater part of the sky, but their broken ranks were flying their billowing white flags, and even in those moments when the sun was briefly hidden, the blue field remained the scene of its triumph, to which it would return as the tattered remnants of the storm fled northward, dragging their shade across the mountains. The freshened air sparkled with light, and the damp receded from patch after patch of pavement. A sprinkling of drops like quicksilver dusted the leaves of the sourgrass, and a few puddles remained in heavily shaded spots, but the drying was rapid if not complete. Another day of sun and all obvious evidence of the storm but the eroded tracks of runoff and the small sandy deltas it produced will vanish. In the meantime, the mulberry tree wears a plush coat of regenerated moss, deep green and softly damp, and lichen yet flourishes on the paving stones where red camellia blossoms will soon drop and darken and wither. Those, too, will be evidence of the rain, as they give up its hoarded moisture to the warming airs of approaching spring. Things are going as they should.