Saturday, December 10, 2005

Chasing sunsets post snow day

I kinda wish I had some pictures from the sunset this evening, but I guess that's part of the story, really.

We had the first major storm of the season yesterday. It snowed pretty heavy all day, pretty much all day, with thunder and lightning in the late afternoon. I was happy to be working from home, thankful to not have to drive through the mess outside to get to the office. That would have been fraught with peril as I don't think the plows made it to our street until well into the afternoon. They certainly hadn't been through when I briefly poked my head out to grab the mail around 1pm.

Marginally productive during the day (finally finished that one thing I was supposed to have had done Tuesday... ugh), but the only tangible accomplishment of the day was shoveling out the driveway at dusk when the storm had finally passed. We had maybe 10-12 inches, but the work is always in the 3 foot snowbank of packed snow that the plows push up which block the whole driveway. Well, exercise for the day at least.

I spent most of the rest of the evening lost in the interweb. Severe RII I'd say. But happy to have found videos for the Ditty Bops and the Dresden Dolls at least, thank you Wil Wheaton. I'll take what I can get. (the Dresden Dolls video is a little crashy, safer to do a SaveAs or go to their site and grab the small one.)

Today, clear and sunny and beautiful. Or at least that's how it seemed like it was from the bed. For whatever reason (probably the usual suspects), I had a hard time getting up. I eventually dragged myself out, mid-John Funke. I don't even know what I did today... oh yeah, work. Read. Some laundry. Sat at the piano for a while. Tried to study. Participated in a phone survey. (sounds like they're trying to put in a monster mall in Waltham... called it a village-lifestyle-touchy-feeling something or other. Ugh, more development. But I guess all the people moving into the luxury condos up the road are going to have to shop somewhere. *sigh*)

So anyway, I had to study at some point, But it hit me that I really needed to get some exercise. (The difficulty getting out of bed was a pretty good sign.) In a perfect world, I would have gone for a run this morning when it was bright and sunny. But it's not perfect. And the very reason I needed to run was the reason I was having so much trouble going out and just doing it.

I was losing light, but near dusk, the forces of procrastination finally provided the last little nudge I needed to get myself moving. Not too cold yet, and... wow, it was beautiful out. To the east, the sky glowing pink, apparently catching the light from the setting sun, trees with bare branches outstretched, silhouetted against it in the foreground. Down the hill, roads are wet but not slick -- they haven't frozen over yet. I plan to take my usual route, but realize the sidewalks haven't been cleared, so it looks like I'm doing a neighborhood ramble today. I turn a corner, and the clouds to the west are a mix of pink and rich fuchsia, but it's the sky behind that it stunning -- a gradation of blue down to an almost amber near the horizon, somehow contrasting perfectly with the pinks and reds. And it has this amazing intensity and strange clarity, as if the cold is somehow making things appear hyperreal.

I want to run home and get my camera but I realize that it'll be too late. As I turn towards the house, the colors are already changing. The sky to the east is already gray as the night encroaches, and I just have to try and enjoy the moment and take it all in.

It's funny. I'm reading about the Long Now, which is all about thinking in terms of, well, "long time." We're all focused on this year, this month, this week, and it suggests that we need to think, this decade, this century, this millennium. And yet, the colors of the sunset are visible in a span measured in minutes, seconds, moments. The book may get to this, but the thought I had was this: watching the sunset, in that moment, you can sense how transient that moment is. And in so doing, you can feel the transience of all things. And yet, in that moment, things somehow seem timeless.


kat said...

watching the sunset, in that moment, you can sense how transient that moment is. And in so doing, you can feel the transience of all things. And yet, in that moment, things somehow seem timeless.

yes, totally. moments like that make me feel awed, amazed, joyful, small, and sad all wrapped up together.

tallasiandude said...

yeah, and it's pretty much all good... although I could probably do less with the sad right now. Too much sad floating around these days. :-/

kat said...

saw this today. thought you might enjoy it!