Wednesday, October 28, 2015

when skies are grey


Seattle, University District, afternoon with rain.

Text, text, where did my text go? I had written something, not about the autumn weather that seems to have finally settled in over my city, the winds pulling all the colorful autumn-painted leaves from the trees now black-limbed with rain, and why all these hyphenated words, Bailey? I donno. This was not the text I had put beneath this photo last night but Blogger, she hates me. Maybe I'd written something about how I am well and truly underway with a new novel, having now written over six thousand words of the first draft, which is a pretty good start I think. Maybe I'd written something about how my basic approach to drafting scenes has expanded over the years and that the boundaries of a dramatic scene have become quite permeable and so the narrative spreads, or maybe sprawls, quite finely these days. Certainly I had not written about a woman named Lydia, who phoned me at my office to set up an appointment to show me a line of bespoke business suits. "How on earth did you decide to phone me?" I asked Lydia. She had no good answer and the whole thing has the feeling of an elaborate practical joke, but I'm going along with the joke because I am rather fond of fine men's suits though I am not the sort of fellow who pays $250 for a bespoke shirt. Lydia was quite insistent even after I told her I'm more Ralph Lauren than Mr Turk. No doubt Lydia and her corporate masters will be disappointed when I fail to place an order next week. But I'm sure I hadn't written about that last night. No, it was something to do with the sky, the wet golden leaves in the gutters, and Paris, maybe, which was in the midst of autumn rains a month ago when we visited. But I can't remember what it was. I can tell you that this morning, when I was walking down the hill toward the bus stop, the street lights were all still lit. First time for that this year, a sure sign that the perpetual night of winter quickly approaches.

10 comments:

  1. about a hundred miles south of you more sky is opening up as the gold and tawny leaves get blown off their accustomed habitats; mud(my usual habitat)is clogging up the trails and boots help stir up the fundament. supposed to be a hurricane remnant hitting here this weekend and you'll get it soon after; good time for staying inside with hot buttered something or other and musing on novelistic proclivities...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good thing we've planted all of our bulbs already. The hurricane dregs might make an adventure out of our Sunday farmer's market trip. There's an isolated chunk of old growth forest a mile south of our house, with trails and woodpeckers and owls. I've always thought it would be exciting to be in there during high winds, so maybe we'll take a little hike on Saturday, brave the falling timber. It remains solidly gray overhead here.

      Delete
    2. In southern Nevada the sun has become so cool that you can walk outside in daylight without wondering about dehydration or heatstroke and this changeover is a wonderful event every year, though I wouldn't agree with anyone who said that it was worth going through summer to experience it.

      Delete
    3. Up until "and this changeover" I thought I was reading a Ray Bradbury story.

      I lived in Nebraska for almost six years, and the summers there had temperatures around 108° degrees, the asphalt roads softening up, the elderly dropping dead, lawns spontaneously combusting, etc. All the joys of hot hot heat. When fall came, it was God's mercy, and no mistaking, but you are right: it does not in any way balance the misery that comes first.

      Delete
    4. i can't move: i'd miss the moss between my toes...

      Delete
    5. Maintain your moss. That gummy asphalt is not quite as nice.

      Delete
  2. Perhaps what I'd written last night was that I've realized I'm writing a big 19th-century novel, a spiritual child of Moby Dick and God knows what else. That declaration will immediately reduce the potential readership of the book by about 99%.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Changing seasons are deeply reassuring to the soul. After all, "the sun also rises." (Thanks to Hemingway and Ecclesiastes for those four little words!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure why everyone who reads "Ecclesiastes" becomes such a fan of them. Maybe it's a relatively modern thing; the book is full of skepticism and fatalism. I like it because it's a sort of corrective to intellectual pride (and of course all other forms of vanity), but that can't be widely a attractive feature of the text.

      Still, yes, winter is followed by spring, the world turns, and that is all quite beautiful. Fall and spring are my favorite times of year, a sleep and an awakening. Deep winter and high summer, at least in Seattle, are not so pretty.

      Delete
    2. My two years in Bremerton and the peninsula were, in a word, invigorating.

      Delete