Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Such loud darkness.


Remember how I told you that I live in a thunderstormy area? This evening, a noisy front is pushing through the county, and it took the power out about ninety minutes ago. One moment, I was talking with my mother; the next, I was conversing with white noise. I groped my way to the flashlight, thankful as ever that my memory is sharp with details like where the flashlight randomly got stowed the last time I used it (not in a logical place, I should perhaps add). I lit my way to a couple of candles. I set myself up for some reading, then realized that in the candlelight, my head was throwing an enormous shadow on the wall over my right shoulder.

Seven (slow-going, because I'm tired) pages of Housekeeping later, the electricity came back to the house. But the outage has, I think, done its part to sap the rest of my own current away for the night.

And so, two things, and then I'm departing, disembarking for another night of dreaming, perhaps.

First: when I peeked out the bathroom window this morning to see whether anything interesting was happening in the yard, I was startled to see three large, richly red deer in my backyard--reclining in a group, munching and mawing and resting together. They saw me when I padded barefoot into the kitchen to make the coffee I'd take back upstairs to bed. Within ten minutes or so, they stood up and wandered away; I caught a glimpse of only one of thier tails.


Second: here are the kinds of passages I live for, from Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping:
But the lake at our feet was plain, clear water, bottomed with smooth stones or simple mud. It was quick with small life, like any pond, as modest in its transformations of the ordinary as any puddle. Only the calm persistence with which the water touched, and touched, and touched, sifting all the little stones, jet, and white, and hazel, forced us to remember that the lake was vast, and in league with the mood (for no sublunar account could be made of its shining cold life). (112)

[W]hy must we be left, the survivors picking among flotsam, among the small, unnoticed, unvalued cluter that was all that remained when they vanished, that only catastrophy made notable? Darkness is the only solvent. While it was dark...it seemed to me that there need not be a relic, remnant, margin, residue, memento, bequest, memory, thought track, or trace, if only the darkness could be perfect and permanent. (116)

Now we're in a sonic lull: the rain has stopped, as have the flash and rumble of this May shower.

This afternoon, while I mowed the lawn, I discovered whole bushes of fat peony buds, round and taut like little rubber bouncing balls, and those bushes are pushing out toward the light, emerging from their surrounding hedge. I thought yesterday's peony a completely isolated renegade. Now, happily, it looks as though I misjudged.

Turns out Ohio is one of the top ten states in the country for lightning casualties.

source for tonight's image: the Electricians' Toolbox page promoting lightning protection.

2 Comments:

Blogger four inches of ego said...

I must admit that i miss the Ohio thunderstorms: not quite so spectacular as those in Iowa, but without the perpetual threat of tornados; far more impressive than the run-of-the-mill variety seen here in upstate NY. Actually, I thik I may just miss Ohio.

9:19 AM, May 18, 2006  
Blogger ttractor said...

Oklahoma had amazingly extreme weather, the sky turning green before a tornado, the tornados themselves, ice storms in winter glazing trees and power lines that would meet in blazes, drought-breaking gutter-filling storms hurling rainsdrops that hurt, hail that turned every metal object into a pock-marked shame...oh.

But I surely don't miss Oklahoma, and I don't think it misses me either.

11:01 AM, May 18, 2006  

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