Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cold Coming On

The sun was setting down. I couldn't find my keys. Then I couldn't find my inks. And the sun just got lower and lower, and I thought, dammit, why is it that when I get some damned ambition about doing something, I can't find anything? Upstairs, downstairs, etc.

I went to the park, below my house, I drew with this new system I am working on. I can't show you. I have the wrong this-and-that to stick into my machine, so will have to show this work later. (its later- I added some below).

 As I walked through the park, there was Rich, throwing a ball for Goose, his Yellow Lab. He's wearing sunglasses, though the sun is well down.

And I said how are doing Rich? With my gear banging about like a ... I cant recall, those guys that sold pots and pans in medeival times.

And he said, are you painting? I said no, drawing. He said it's going to be cold and I'd have a half hour.

He was Special Forces. Wounded. Something wrong with his head, wears camo. Has headaches, on a ton of meds, divorced, VA hospital, in constant pain. Never sleeps.  They call him the Angry Man at the local coffee shop, but I never see it. I remember his name, and his dogs, as I think of the Golden Goose, who made his owner Rich. And I like him.

On the other side of the park- and this isn't some fancy Seattle park- this is a wet, foggy, not too well laid out country park on a river, without a budget- there's this group of hippie kids, version 2012, doing what looks like Tai Chi. But its not. I can't focus, so I can't really tell. But they hold out their arms every once in awhile and talk to each other, sometimes on one leg. Its pretty far away, but besides me and Rich, that's all there is in the park.  And Rich leaves with Goose.

So I take a picnic table and lay out my glass and ink up the plates, and the fog is rising up from the fields, slowly, and the sun is well down. And, well, its the witching hour. Its when the best of all things happens. Blacks are blacker than black, and you can stare into the shadows along a river, in a clump of trees, and nothing, ever, has been blacker, richer. And a twist of thorny blackberry vine, in loopy curves, with a dwindle of 5 grouped leaves, seems intenser, redder, sharper, than it ever felt in Summer. A salmon splashes. And splashes again. And I look down the river at the bends and turns and swirls of last light, and the blackest clumps and trunks of trees, and say, out loud, my god. And mean it, or the intent of it. Because always, this is happening, everywhere, and we sleep, and work, and eat, and argue, and worry, and yet, down by the river, there's this spectacular activity of dark and color, ethereal, changing. Dripping.Splashing.

Its like looking at a cloud changing, and saying, well, that was a very, very nice sunset. Love the clouds. But this is like the opposite of a sunset, the dark, the mysterious, the cold and rising fog, and the total soup of life hunkering down for the winter. A vee of ducks, then another, head north (?), and each tree holds its own, sold. And grass lies down. And there are these delicate swirls in the water, rounded punches, quiet.

And yet:. this happens all the time for eyes that are sufficiently thin skinned, and have nothing else to worry about. There's some sort of psychology here. Something physiological happens,I just know this to be true. You thin the skin on your eyes by looking, and looking, and peering into a shadow, and suddenly, the whole world is sharp and intent and well, otherwordly. Its Carlos Castaneda. That  faker. I know that in my whole life, it is the realest thing I know, the thing I hang on to. Which is what?

That the Universe is cold, but beautiful. And hopefully, we end out days with sleep, admiring the beautiful, and not freaking out about the cold.

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