Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Morning
I watched the sun rise on this first day of spring, a harsh angular light on a delicate rime of frost. The world was sugar frosted as the light dawned and the shadows of buildings and trees stretched out like El Greco figures in monochrome against a landscape played out in aquatint.
As the colors filled out with the rising of the sun, I looked at the rimed grass and thought of such sweetened things as frosted flakes. But is the world a sweet thing to tempt the young with the roars of cartoon tigers? I can say neither no nor yes. Because there are other things that get their coat of sugar yet play against the sweet, the sour patch candies for example. Is the world in a sweet nanometric crust that surrenders to teeth revealing the grain formed into something entirely man-made? Or is it the sweet layer that flows out on the tongue before the acidic bite changes everything?
Both are delicious in their place. Both are insufficient metaphors for existence. Instead the world will offer some moment of zen calm - the translucent shroud of fine hoar on the grass and sidewalks, sunlight sliding across the ground with a magician's trick of misdirection. It is the first day of spring and the world says: "Look here. Here is the breath of winter still laid ever so lightly on this ground. Trust and believe what you will but I am knowable only in the largest ways. I will never surrender myself to you in any one moment. If you live in the knowing of that, you may see wisdom as obliquely as I lay the light on you. I will be that thing moving just at the very ragged edge of your eyes, that thing you can only believe you saw a moment before. But always there."

My gratefulness rises along with the warming of the sun. I will make myself a measure of coffee, fill my cup therewith, milk, artificial sweetener as fine and white as if I'd scraped the frost from the blades of grass. I dress warmly, step outside. Feel the cool water of the fresh spring air flow into me. Take a sip from my cup which releases steam in the most wonderful ghostly curls of vapor. I inhale the fragrance of the bean and feel its tiny acid bite on my tongue, an echo of the world entire. I thank God again for all of this. For cool spring air, the friends whom I love, the taste of coffee on a cool morning, the pinkish haze that fills the empty branches of trees preparing to bud out, even the cliche of daffodils clustered near the neighborhood doors. I think of the day, not long in the offing now, when the world warms and the scent of the earth itself finally rises from its hibernation. Then spring truly begins as all the poseur flowers, the daffs, the crocuses give way to the trees and plants that give us food, not just frosted candy for the eyes.
The Deck Farm will rise again this year. Possibility remains an almost endless giving box for the delighted.


Gradual Dazzle said...

That makes me want to paint.

BlogDog said...

It's nice to be inspirational ... rather than just irrational.

Phillymon said...

I always liked Lester's post-mortem soliloquy...

"I guess I could be really pissed off about what happened to me, but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday."
- Lester Burnham