February 12th, 2003



When I trudge to the bus stop in the morning, ready to go to work, my mind is full of myself. I think about the books I'm reading or have read, about the novel I'm writing, about the games I've run or am going to run. I think about my friends and my job, and journal entries I want to write. My mind is filled by all the things I ought to do or want to do.

My feet go, one before the other, and I let them carry me. In the morning light, the street is dull, the sky is grey, and the buildings are lifeless. It's winter, and the cold wind chills me through my cloak, while the dead trees stretch their branches to the indifferent heavens. Everything looks run down, and I don't see most of it. I am full of myself, crowding out my sense of the outside world.

But in the evening ...

As I walk home, sometimes, every now and then, I look up.

Last night, the vista was breathtaking. Thick, puffy clouds gathered, dark as a storm on their undersides, but the early evening sun painted their tops white. They glowed, brilliantly, where the sun hid, just behind a thin layer. Streaks of blue sky could be seen around them, fading to deep pink near the horizon. The silhouettes of dormant trees were stark and black against the horizon. Even the old buildings, brown brick with trim of beige-white stone, looked good, their thick, many-storied bodies squat by contrast with the majestic heavens. These are old buildings, and many of them have elaborately carved trim. One, on the corner of Gillham and Linwood, is abandoned, with almost every window pane broken and most boarded over. But its trim of flowers and stylized vines around every arched door, window, and roof, is picked out, lovingly, in greens and reds and pinks.

The view was so beautiful I could not have painted it, because it would have been just schlock in a painting, too pretty to be real, to be believed. It was too majestic to be caught on canvas, and the cynical mind would not recognize its worth.

I could only walk beneath the vaulted sky, and look up.

And remember.