Wednesday, November 10, 2010

11.8 Bare Statements


November is the hardest month of the year, because it gives us the best part of the day before we’re ready for it. It’s happening in the fours this week, as most of the country turns back the clocks to daylight standard time. It’s happening now, right now. My windows darkening, perceptibly, by the minute, as I sit in an artificially lighted interior. Every time I glance over there is less definition, less to see (I suppose, since we prefer to see distinctions, not undifferentiated planes), darkness filling in more of those shapes still visible. Trunks of a tree; of course; what would there be in the sun-short months of the northern latitudes? The façade of a neighbor’s house, dimming around the lighted rectangles of two well-set windows, like eyes cut carefully in a jack-o-lantern.
Above, between the branches, the sky is a single shade of inky purple, the foreground nothing but a darkening blur. Soon reflections of those lights from inside the room will eat up all there is in the visual field of a darkening window.
It’s the big change, which takes place at the end of each day (some days a lot more clearly than others), the cosmos big-footing in and defining our condition. It’s astronomy’s big statement, and it’s easier to catch it when sunset comes so early in the course of clock-driven “day” – which is of course, not over, though the magical closing hour of five o’clock is fast approaching.
It’s not easy to appreciate, however, because in the human-measured time of day, we’re still on the job; or, worse, gob-smacked in the commute. Where did the day go?…