rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Red sky at night

But no sailor's delight. The fire in Lake County has sent a long plume of smoke across the Sacramento valley and into the Sierra. Last evening, I looked out my window and saw the sun settling into it; a huge orange ball, and the sky around it various shades of purple, like a vast bruise.

It reminded me of a fire in the San Gabriel Mountains, many years ago. It was several fires, all at once, actually. Ash fell over my neighborhood, ten miles away. I caught in my hand a falling leaf, small, perfectly preserved, reduced to fragile ash. It was like the ghost of a leaf, and it crumbled to a fine, oily powder when I touched it.

There were other, more disturbing bits of ash. One was a tuft of fur, probably from a squirrel. Another was the pin feather of some unlucky bird. Every line was exactly as it had been before it was carbonized, but it broke in half when it landed in my hand.

That night, as the smoke hovered low over the entire valley, the light of the fires was reflected from the bottom of the cloud, giving the city an apocalyptic glow. After a few days, the fires were put out, the ash disintegrated, the evidence of annihilation removed from our daily lives. But now, living in this forest, each time I smell smoke, I recall that leaf, that bit of fur, that feather. I see them settling down from the choked sky toward the inevitable earth.

  • Reset Twenty-One, Day Twenty-Seven

    Once again I got up way too late on Thursday, and now I'm awake way too late on Friday morning. Sometime in the next few days I expect I'll wake up…

  • Reset Twenty-One, Day Twenty-Six

    The entire middle of Wednesday vanished into sleep, except for a few minutes here and there when I woke up briefly being either too hot or, when the…

  • Reset Twenty-One, Day Twenty-Five

    Tuesday gave me a headache, though I don't know why. It might be my neck getting further out of place. It might also have been because I kept…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.