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Friday Walk Home

Olympic thunderheads

Olympic thunderheads

Friday was a summer-bright day, though even the brightness was a shadow: the sun is too low to have summer’s flattening weight. The density is off, but the brilliance greater. Maybe air is thinner in winter, or people are insulated from it cocooned in their layers. I got all the light I could.

Alki has been getting a lot of walks from me. September’s walks were fractured, desperate, clutching, hopeless. October’s have been better, mostly for the gradual resumption of normal time. No mountains in October, no great depths either. November is magic month: when the happy slide into holidays begins. Halloween is a foretaste, an appetizer. Why else candy?

Friday had no time the way college Fridays had none: a bright long day without clawing hours or sense of desperation. Each moment could fly free and merge into the next one. Something unhearable pushed out from the inside the light.

If you had been with me you would have seen this thunderhead grow from two anvils and something like a boomerang pickle into this mass of cloud. Facing west, the sun lit their slowly churning surfaces and polished their bluewhite solidity. They were as much like the blooming thunderheads of boring elementary school summers lost on the endless Texas flat as they were not at all like them, not at all. I can’t explain how they’re different–maybe colder, somehow. These are an edifice projected by mountains beneath, mirroring titanic forces. The ones in Texas rose up like dough from the flat pan prairie, a space big but not vast.

Would you have said anything, looking at them? Trying to dress them verbally is far less effective than silent and just look. It was not cold in that great bright. Your sense of time would have been off with mine, knowing it will be dark soon, staying here in the confluence of water and sky because we know soon is always coming.

I apologize for the iPhone picture; I didn’t have the better camera. Even with it I’d capture the smallest idea of what it was like to stand there on the water’s edge, clouds towering upward, blotting to orange the setting sun. It was a very, very good day, for no particular reason. Pills partly, I think; partly a friend’s call. She invites me to share dinner but I end up being too tired, asleep before nine, decided on hiking Saturday. There will be more sun and there’s nothing like making a decision.

Here is my gift, friends, such as it is: a flat thin sliver of what a good Friday feels like, rising up into the sky turning to night.


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