mardi, juillet 16, 2013

The Music of the Night

It's wicked hot around here, making normal tasks miserable.

Yet if you persist in hope, the end of the day can be wonderful.

On the lawn, the fireflies danced in the growing shadows, as twilight slipped into night.

I sat on the porch swing for a while, watching them flicker among the trees.

My neighbors arrived home from a walk. Across the street, other friends entertained visitors.

After a while, I went inside, and picked up "Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles -- one of those novels you dread finishing.  There is such a sense of loss when a book you love comes to an end.  Towles, who channels Wharton and Auchincloss, writes tellingly about class, accident, character and friendship in this 1930's period piece.

It's also a story of love, and of loss, with personalities that linger long after you have reluctantly put the book down.

Tears were most appropriate.

The "music of the night" is powerful.  If we are creatures of the day, propelled by work and leisure to imagine ourselves in control of our fates, then darkness can be unsettling.  Our guard is lower.  What has been buried during the day will not be denied in silence.

This is the silence of marriages sundering, mortality creeping in, the stuff of nightmares.

But it also can be a time for truth, for creativity, for ravishing beauty.

Often I say a silent prayer of thanks to the architect who added two windows to the top of my living room. Last night, the moon silvered the floor with fairy dust.

Here be dragons.

I cannot afford fairy dust. The price is too high.

So I went to bed, hoping daylight would bring composure.

I awoke to an email from a nocturnal friend, who asked me whimsically what I dreamed about.

I'll get back to you, I told him.

A dodge, I know.

But it is best for me, at least for the moment, to turn my back on the double-edged music of the night.

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