Thursday, October 22, 2015

This Cloudy Afternoon

Henry David Thoreau wrote in An American Landscape:

"I love very well the cloudy afternoon, so sober and favorable to reflection after so many bright ones.  What if the clouds shut out the heavens, provided they concentrate my thoughts and make a more celestial heaven below! I hear the crickets plainer; I wander less in my thoughts, am less dissipated; am aware how shallow was the current of my thoughts before.  Deep streams are dark, as if there were a cloud in their sky; shallow ones are bright and sparkling, refilling the sun from their bottoms.  The very wind on my cheek seems more fraught with meaning.
Many maples around the edges of the meadows are now quite bare, like smoke."

How often I have felt this way about the gray, cloudy Autumn days.  Yesterday is was gray and the colors were muted and lovely. Today it is bright blue and brilliant and slightly disconcerting . The lake is is calm and there is no breeze. I'm feeling a pull to be productive and not necessarily reflective. I am much more content with less sparkle on the path.

However, here is a quick off-the-cuff poem.

is a rocking boat in summer
a ripple through budding leaves
the animal drifts beneath
my window, the anxious accounting
of perfect days

is the chamber of silence
the curled branch over the water
the underpainting of Autumn sky
the deep pools of fish
on the cusp of winter winds.

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