June 27th, 2006



Last night's sunset was fairly red, and extended farther north than I would have expected. I thought it was only the great sweeps of cirrus clouds that caught the light. Several hours after nightfall, I began to smell smoke. What little breeze stirred was from the north. I could see no glow on that horizon, so knew the fire was either quite small or quite distant. This morning, the sunrise is quite lurid. I found out that it was because of this-- a fire ignited by lightning yesterday afternoon near Susanville.

Susanville is a few dozen miles northeast of here (the stagecoach route between the towns once ran quite near where my house now stands), and it took all the afternoon and a good part of the night for the drifting smoke to reach us. Although the fire may be out by now, the smell of it remains strong, and its lingering smoke is what gives the dawn its vivid hue. Fire season is starting early. I'm not looking forward to it.
gericault_the raft of the medusa 2


Days like this which saturate the world, the torrid hues of their arid clouds bringing a yellow tinge to even the greenest shadows, their dense air weighting my lungs with every breath, their heat like a burning from within my skin, remind me of certain states of illness I've experienced. Days like this are fevers which bring both torpor and a sense of unreality, driving thoughts toward hallucinations and draining me of will. I drag myself around, not knowing what to do but hope for the evening to bring some cooling. The weather has become a virus, and I'm infected. There is no cure but a change, and no change is in sight. Maybe it's time I wrote a will. I haven't decided how to dispose of my possessions, but I leave my husk to the sun. It's clearly what the sun desires.