Pink suns

The August meteors were back, and with it memories of being in the Austrian alps by the farmhouse where we stayed, on my back on some dirt road watching for streaks of light across the night sky, making wishes.

Bit by bit we wound the summer down. The last bag of charcoal, the daisies cut and composted, the garden stakes in the corner ready to be stowed. I bought a generator and called in an exterminator to manage the ant infestation. I learned you need to bait the foragers so they take the poison back to the colony. The fact they live in walls and you need to take out the queens.

And so life plodded on like that. In the neighborhood men replaced rooftops, joggers passed by, young parents with their kids. And we all returned from the delta to the alpha in how to deal with the virus, like we’d gone back in time, wondering would it just keep climbing up the alphabet. And all the foolishness of mankind.

Living in the Pacific Northwest we waited out the forest fires and drought. The smoke particulants kept the temperatures down at least. All the tall firs turned to rust on the edges facing the asphalt. Pink suns.

I made plans to go back to the Hoh rainforest with Brad, to climb up to the glacier, the same trip I wrote about here, 12 years ago. It was so detailed (and unedited) I could recount the exact camps where we stayed, what gear I used. Rereading it was like going back in time.

People died and people were born. The meteors came back on cue. And so did the seasons, like they were on a hidden timer with the same precision as an old clock, tolling in the town square. Reminding us we’re all on a schedule of some kind whether we know it or not. And that time moves in just one way, streaks of light across the sky.



Categories: musings, writing

Tags: ,

22 replies

  1. The passage of time. I read this morning that the 20th anniversary of 9/11 is upon us. Seems like yesterday, me still in my 30s, my future stretching out before me. Seems like a lifetime ago, my kids not even born yet, still living in DC, the start of our stupid 20 year war. (Oops… I guess this is going to become my next blog post).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent, this. I could read a book’s worth of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great piece! Pink skies, smoke and fires, rust and plague, alpha and omega, and comets swingin’ by. Hard not to wonder about what exactly they’ve got calendared next for us amid all this, I guess the signs and portents are getting pretty damn obvious. Oh well as long as we adhere to the schedule, like when you’re driving and totally lost, but keep going because you’re making great time!

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    • Thanks Robert! Yeah all we need is the Japanese murder hornets right? The icing on the cake as it were. Hope you’re enjoying the waning days of summer. Won’t be long now until we’ll be pulling out our harmonicas for fall!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoy this device of writing the (almost) present in the past. Like how it adds a patina of reflection. Do you think how you write influences what you write, Bill?

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a good question Bruce and yes I’d have to say it does…and I like the word patina, thanks for slipping that in there…it’s fun playing with the tense as long as it doesn’t buck the reader.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree on the (almost) present in the past thing. Did you invent that? I haven’t seen it before, so I’m giving you credit. Kind of like I give myself credit for inventing the flock of seagulls haircut, or the word ‘interweb.’

        Liked by 1 person

      • Man I don’t know what I’m doing or think about what I’m doing so I like when others ascribe more meaning to what I’m doing. I’ll take it!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Solid stuff here presented in digestible chunks. We wait and see how things play out … even if all the while convinced we influence the script …

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, how true. And that time moves in just one way. Hence, whenever we think we have repeated an action of our past, it is in fact a brand new event, because the time of that action is so new that it was never there in existence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Keshav, good to hear from you. Yes it’s funny when we think we’ve repeated an action, as I tend to do that often (“dechez-vous”). I like how you phrase it here. Thanks for reading and be well. Sending positive vibes your way!

      Like

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