Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Up There

Big winds overnight, with elm pieces clattering down from the sky. This morning, out past the city, you can see far enough to see that the tall trees and farm buildings and barns—even the oceanic hills—are all just the surface, that we all live under an ocean of air. Massively larger than anything ever built, clouds twist out in slow motion, plum-colored at the horizon or on hills where they pile up, shredded higher than this, then thinning out much higher. Sheets of white slide over the hilltops like a great lid; the sun lights them from within. Rafts and rags of them slide slowly overhead like titanic ice floes. I know that if you slipped through above those clouds there would be furrowed plains of mist, that you would need sunglasses to protect your eyes. I watch the forms move as long as I can, standing in front of the library, until my eyes hurt, then I jog inside.

I want to be up there, not down here. My patience is worn. There is too much to do up there, too much to learn to be scrabbling around down here, my mind immersed in the prehistoric past. Keep going, I think, keep going with those thoughts, do what you have to do; get up in the sky, learn about it, build a life around it.

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