Wednesday, February 2, 2011

On a clear day.

The weather outside was lovely today.

In the early afternoon, WNRN kept playing songs that reminded me of David's younger brother, which of course eventually led me to thinking about David. And melancholy began to seep. I began by thinking about how we haven't talked in so long, and wondering whose idea that was (mine) and wondering whether it was still necessary (probably). Thinking maybe we should have lunch. Then thinking that this was another day we should have spent up on Skyline. Then I started to notice that I was hitting the point where these things all begin to pile up, and I dropped it, and I went to read outside instead.

I took my book out and sat on the front porch in a camping chair (and snuggie--it wasn't that warm), and breathed in the evening.

Actually, though I regret this now, I didn't think to think much* about breathing. Instead I watched the wind forcefully push through the tall trees on our street, and watched them bend and sway against the sky. I love the way the setting sun slides through the scenery, highlighting every branch and leaf and bent stem. I love the way it sinks down so quickly, but never seems to be moving. A squirrel ran up and then down a tree trunk, right between me and the sunset, silhouetted against the sky.

I love watching the day deepen into night. I want to say I can't get enough of it, but judging from the fact that I came in before full dark, I guess I can. Sunsets are indescribably beautiful to me, but just as the dawn begins long before sunrise, the dusk falls long after sunset. They are so, so beautiful to see, but not necessarily so interesting to sit and stare at for an hour and a half.

I am reminded of something I saw one afternoon as I left the apartment where I've been painting. I marveled at it at the time, as I do with many things, but I think I forgot to write about it. I guess it was nothing, really, but a flock of birds bathing in a roadside puddle. Still, I was entranced. They went in shifts: a group of them, a third of the flock, splashed and fluttered for a few moments in a puddle where an alley met the roadside, then all at once they flew up at an angle across the street. As they did so, another third of the flock flew down from the trees above and into the puddle. At the same time, another third flew from across the street into the newly vacated trees. They kept on like this in continuous rotation, beginning before I came outside, continuing through the minutes that I watched them, and ending sometime after I left. I am not usually very enthusiastic about birds as pets**, but I love to watch them and listen to them call to one another. I don't know how to describe the way I feel about them. I think I've mentioned it before though, particularly with reference to starlings. Though I've never had the chance, I feel like I could watch a flock of starlings fly for hours.

*This is not a typo.

**Individually, they are far too reptilian for me. Obviously they don't look particularly reptilian, and I hasten to say that I have nothing against reptiles as a species--I used to be somewhat obsessive in my regard for them--but I realized somewhere along the line that they are not mammals. That is, reptiles, and birds, possess the reptilian brain and (generally speaking) not much else. Mammals have more highly developed brains, and more highly developed emotions. A reptile is not going to bond with you or be emotionally interesting, or interested, the way a mammal will. Birds have higher faculties in this area than reptiles, but still not on the order of even a rat, in my experience.

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