September 23rd, 2006

caillebotte_the orangerie


Again the night turned windy, and this time it blew the electricity away for six hours. All that time I saw only my flashlight, candlelight, starlight and the blue flame of the burner on the stove as I heated a kettle of soup. Stray gusts slammed doors, leaves rustled and falling acorns clattered, but the deep darkness was like another kind of quiet. I slept, and woke only when the power returned and my lamp glared at me. Then I went around the house turning things off, and then I went back to sleep listening to the groan of the mulberry tree as it scraped the eaves near my bed, trying to peel the roof from the house. It didn't get me.

The morning continued blustery, but afternoon has again been only gently breezy. The mulberry tree flutters its leaves innocently, though they have been thinned and I can now more easily see the bony outlines of the branches, especially in the shadow that falls across my floor. Though I probably slept ten hours last night, I have dozed this afternoon, relaxed by the sound of those rustling leaves. Once in a while a strong gust will let the tree scrape the eaves. It might get me yet.