February 1st, 2005


Inaudible Nocturne

Now that the clouds have gone, the half moon is free to make night a ghost of day, pale light and deep shadow measuring the passage of quiet hours, the deserted streets suggestive of long Sundays when no passersby disturb the tranquil dreamer and every object is like a statue carved or cast, inanimate yet fraught with barely concealed force. Now, vision dimmed and perception heightened by this cool, reflected light, I think that stones might watch me, and trees talk among themselves in tones beyond my hearing, and the lawn be waiting for my footsteps, wishing that I would fall upon it and warm the ecstatic blades with my animal heat. Being all that moves, I feel the craving of the whole static world for my attention, each limber curve of branch and shell of flower seems poised just so, summoning my eye, inviting my touch. It is a strange glamour, which has emerged from my thoughts, yet has been elicited by these dim and mere things. What the trees are saying must be a spell, and they earth's tongues, plotting this nocturnal seduction. The ground reaches up and holds my feet each step I take. I will never leave its endless circles.


I hear the frogs croaking again this evening. It's odd to hear the sounds of spring at the beginning of February. All afternoon, birds chattered as they pecked at the lawn and flirted with one another from bare tree to tree. The temperature was perfect. It was the sort of day when one has no desire to linger in the shade, and even in sunlight there is a slight chill. This is the sort of fresh and invigorating weather which invites movement. Unfortunately, I had no time to go for a walk. Neither was there any work to be done in the yard, the grass remaining short and the last leaves long since raked up, and nothing needs to be watered, so much rain having fallen. So I spent most of the afternoon doing indoor chores, taking a moment now and then to go outside and observe the progress of the day, which remained light until well past five o'clock. I almost was induced to share the over-eager attitude of the camellias, a dozen of which are now blooming. I know that would be unwise. Winter is bound to be back, ending this pleasant respite of false spring.