August 15th, 2004


After the Fire

Cool and moonless, the night falls into obscurity. A single cricket chirps to a scattering of stars. The trees all clumps and thrusts of shadow, the street a vague suggestion of paleness, the houses invisible, all that was solid has come to seem a story once told and spun away into impression, as insubstantial as spoken words, a vibration in air, then stillness and silence. Deep night conjoins what was and what is and what might be, memory and imagination made equal to immediate perception. The barking dog and the following quiet inhabit this space, briefly anchor it to the moment, but the moment soon dissolves, and the world again falls away. Everything has become as impermanent as the night itself, and only rising day can reestablish reality. Of course, I prefer the night.

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I have a vague memory of having posted this piece here before, a long time ago, but I can't find note of it in my archives, and it would be worth repeating in any case. Anything by Paz usually is.
caillebotte_the balcony


Overnight, about three dozen leaves fell from the mulberry tree. I won't rake them yet, of course. I am enjoying the sight of them, pale yellow and slightly withered little promises of autumn, decorating the green and brown of the partly desiccated lawn. There were clouds today, too, at times blanketing the entire sky, though thinly. A strong hint of blue passes through them. I enjoy the look of them, and the pearly light they admit, but they will probably hold in the day's heat. I am attempting to will them to leave now, so that evening might reveal stars. This will probably not happen. The clouds might even thicken, as they sometimes do this time of year, and the night become close and stultifying. But those fallen leaves have cheered me. More will fall, and the nights lengthen, and the days cool, and my second favorite season will arrive with winds and rain and an end to the monotony of summer.