December 26th, 2004

munkacsy_parc_monceau

Gathered

First there was the moon, grown full, and the company of stars it made pale, and a few wisps of cloud. Then the clouds began to thicken, and the stars were concealed, but the moon continued to shine softly, its tempered light filling the world with a gentle glow, all its shadows vague. Gradually, the clouds grew more dense, until the moon was shrouded, and not even a bright spot remained to mark its location. The glow receded into the marbled sky, and the world was dim, yet suffused with the sky's luminance. The forest loomed, a dark shadow, stayed for the moment, held from its advance by the invisible orb whose rays the clouds now spread from horizon to horizon. All the while, there was a constant breeze, and the nearby trees were never silent. Other windblown woodland voices sounded from various quarters, each with its own note, all harmonizing in one vast night song. The moon will set as the sun rises, no dead of night having occurred. The tons of hovering dust and water will be revealed, and the town wake to a gray day, as soft as the night through which it slept as I watched, amazed, the common winter hours transformed.
gericault_the raft of the medusa 2

On the Edge

For the moment, nature is being much less disruptive here than it is in Asia. The wind spent the day blustering, the gray clouds roiled, and spatterings of rain fell. The bulk of the current storm appears to lie northward, where a grim-looking darkness loomed all day. We had a couple of brief power outages, causing Sluggo to pass out, and crows flew about, screeching like prophets of doom, sharing the turbulent air with inexplicable scraps of white paper that made me think of albino bats. But our inevitable disaster remains in the future; How far, nobody knows.