A thunderstorm began yesterday evening at about eight, with faraway rumbles and flashes of lightning to the east, which gradually increased and grew nearer during the night, until about two-thirty this morning, when we were engulfed in a loud and steady display, the house windows pulsing with light. This lasted about an hour, but out of it came little rain. The smokiness persists. And here in the dark, with more thunderstorms and even flood warnings in the forecast, one wonders if more fires were started by the lightning, or if localized downpours might be bringing relief. And isn’t it interesting and revealing how we humans, with all of our abilities and scientific advances, must still wait for daylight to determine the most basic of things?
September 18, 2020
We All Know What It Is
We all know what it is to see someone from across a room, and the feelings that go along with it, the curiosity, the surprise, the fear, the tension, the joy, depending on who the certain someone is, or, more accurately, depending on who we are and how we perceive them. The memory, the hurt, the possibility. The strange feelings of attraction or repulsion. The immediate desire to make this person a character in a story, however beautiful or implausible. We love her, we really do. In another life, he might have been a king. In this life, which we know must be a dream, he still might be. The intervening space — do we measure it in feet, or in years? Do we cross it in a great ship? Is that ship our body? And what of the stars, the galaxies, the wind? We feel ourselves rise and fall and tilt upon the waters. The room, we discover, is vast. It comprises the whole continent. It is the world. Suddenly we find that there is a lantern in our hand. We are all holding lanterns, and we are beckoning to one another from the shore. Then, when at last we are about to meet, we drift awake. And that is when we say hello, or pardon me. That is when we speak: you seem so familiar; haven’t we met before? And the answer is, yes, of course.
Recently Banned Literature, November 17, 2017
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