Friday, March 16, 2012

In A Cloud

It’s one of those magical mornings on the mountain, when it’s wearing a cap of cloud. The far distance disappears and the near distance is filtered through scrims of moisture: the leafless black oaks in silhouette; the pines like ghostly presences; the shoulder of the nearest ridge a mere arc of shadow, blotted on mist. Birds pass, black against white, solitary, featureless, like errant thoughts in my recently slumbering brain. A silence; a hush; an inhalation: how to describe the utter quietude inside a cloud? It is living silence; the brief pause between systole and diastole.

The minutia of nature take on tremendous importance: a few drops patter down on the metal roof, jarred loose from the branches by a breath of wind; a rend appears in the surrounding curtains, to reveal canyons, one behind the other, roiling with mist that rises and curls like smoke; a flight of wild pigeons rises like hope out of the eastern draw, sketches itself on the rice paper air in quick strokes of sumi ink, then is gone. The world comes and goes; approaches and recedes. Each glimpse is a haiku in action, written and erased in the creative rush of nature.

I build the fire, brew coffee, feed the fur children. My mind is filled with fog. I sit before the screen of incipient thought like a patron before the theater curtains, awaiting the moment when they part. For now, all is mystery, silence and suspension of action. I remind myself to breathe. I write. 

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