Tuesday, November 6, 2012

long shadows

So far it feels more like 'daylight moving time' than daylight savings time. The hour of light just shifts from late afternoon to early morning, which is of use to some people and inconvenient to others. Such as those of us who work outside in the late afternoon into evening and gradually find ourselves enveloped by dusk before we have finished. Then of course the window of daylight closes gradually from each end of the day, every day, until we are sandwiched between layers of darkness. The sun sinks behind the trees by mid-afternoon, casting long shadows across the leaf-strewn ground, and it feels truly November. Waking to frost on the grass, sliding directly into layers of clothing nestled inside one another from the day before. Fingers already getting cold while working- time to find the warmer gloves, though even that doesn't always keep the chill from my hands. A customer, after I stacked her firewood, brought me hot tea and leftover Halloween candy. This I nervously nibbled as I drove past gas station after mobbed (or drained) gas station, the gauge hovering near empty.
People I know have been gathering supplies and bringing them down to the areas most devastated by the hurricane which swept through last week. Floods and power outages, and then this cold weather bearing down. I mope about darkness, but I can come home to light and warmth. My studio may be cold sometimes, but it wasn't filled with water like many NYC artists found their studios and galleries. These are the times when most of my concerns seem self-indulgent, my modest artistic accomplishments beside the point. I feel like this occasionally when I read of trouble in foreign places, where you can't even wake up without a constant fear for your life and safety, the daily possibility of your world blasting apart. When it happens closer to home we are more swiftly reminded of our vulnerabilities.
While waiting for my truck to be fixed this morning, I was aurally assaulted by a TV cooking show, the hosts loudly extolling the glories of a sandwich to the uproarious applause of the studio audience. Not that I don't love sandwiches- in fact, I went and picked one up after voting- but the excessive animation seemed inane. I admit most TV affects me this way.
Yes, today is election day. I do feel confident that Obama will be re-elected. I can't bear to imagine the ramifications of the alternative. That will be all for the political segment; I generally leave most articulation to better-informed sources. However, these subjects have been on my mind more than art has, recently, along with the reality of my work schedule and the vagaries of the weather.
That November light does have its particular beauty; this evening I drive home along the river with one cold hand clutching the wheel and the other wrapped around a coffee, agape at the russet and yellow trees aglow in the setting sun. Reflected in the water, those fiery colors get me every time.

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