August 9th, 2005

munkacsy_parc_monceau

Dark Departure

On moonless nights, there comes a moment as dawn nears, when the black sky grows faintly blue, not in one area, as would be the case were there moonlight, but throughout its expanse, so that a person in an unfamiliar locale would not know from which direction the sun would rise. The sky is a perfect dome of deep, dim light. In this cerulean moment, the brighter stars remain, and any clouds which may be present are clearly revealed. All this night, I have sensed the presence of an overcast in the dimness of stars. As the blue light emerges, the overcast has gathered itself into wispy cirrus clouds which, newly lucent, now drift as though through moonlit sky.

This illusion lasts a short while, and then a contrast between east and west grows, the west seeming drawn back toward the retreating night as the east grows brighter. This illusion, too, will quickly pass. Day is inevitable. The first bird chirp comes, soft and distant, just before the last few stars wink out. The rough shapes of impending shadows begin to form under the revealed trees as the transition proceeds. The world returns. I watch the clouds slowly whiten as the first bent sun rays strike from behind the eastern ridge. I think about the starlight still glittering on dark ocean swells a thousand miles west.
caillebotte_the orangerie

Slightly Cooler

A gathering of clouds brought one of the best sunsets of the season. The day, more temperate than those it followed, was decorated with flights of butterflies and small birds visiting a neighbor's birdbath. I watched them a while and listened to the rustling leaves. The afternoon breeze was almost vigorous, and a pleasant change from the still airs of recent weeks. I have the feeling that I might survive August, after all.

Dental appointment tomorrow afternoon, to take an impression for a crown. I'll probably survive that too, but I'm not anticipating it with anything resembling delight. I don't like having construction sites inserted into my mouth.