February 14, 2015
Happy Valentines Day! My fair lass blew through today. Snow intends to stay in the stormy skies, and for now the roar of the wind will rival the rumble of thunder and lightning. Not the high pitched howl of a mountain’s desperation, but the low reverberating thrum of power, compressed through the square edges and narrow channels of the city; of branches skittering down along the pedestrian mall; of platform shoes clattering off to take some unknown shelter. Leaning close we find we can add creaking in the trunks of the old maples that line the streets as they sway in the wind.
There is a periodic smash as some display is torn from its table; the tinkling of shattered glasses and service for two washing down the boulevard sounds gentle compared to the formless wind pounding on broad, rectangular faces and cubic buildings. We can see storm clouds fly across the sky behind the silhouette of branches whipping violently, lashing shadows that audition for some deranged horror movie.
Aye, look there: a patch of blue. Now the lighter skies fly against the monochrome of churning cotton balls and ashen hues. Here is the languid philosopher lifting his head from above the clouds, suggesting a dreamy hawaiian sunset behind the dark and tumultuous thoughts of a purely kinetic existence. “It is here!” he insists. “Couples touching hands, a silken head of hair, the breath of a beautiful woman caressing the stoic demeanor of a weather lined face!”
Perhaps tonight I will sleep outside with her, see if we cannot anchor the earth with the glimpse of the universe. Surely it must be a powerful moment to witness a distant star through such violence. As Jupiter must fear the surges of intergalactic wind and gravity wells, so are we vulnerable to the more insignificant powers perched lightly here on Terra, offering to sacrifice my existence without so much as a thought or choice. This can only marry into a holy moment, ready to be seized by its own mortality, a new triumvirate, the frailty of providence, the infinite universe, the massive Earth clinging tightly to its fragile existence through the eyes of one soulful denizen.
We wonder if when the end comes it will come like this. Some say it will end in drought, some say the end realized is an infinite ocean. The imaginative among our learned community say the air will condense into boiling acid and burn the flesh from our bones over the course of a week or two. Or perhaps it will end in murder and we will irradiate any surviving life out of existence. Either way there is a path we can tread to avoid this, and we can be sure the answer is in the magic of these moments.
I think I saw a flag fly by just now, borne by her majesties avatar. A flag, probably attached to a flagpole, a lance and a banner, a knight incorporeal, borne on invisible steed, charging with frantic purpose through the citizenry, hopefully a near miss for the unfortunate soul who has yet to find cover.
A woman–let us call her Windswept–dashes across the way, her hair waving in the madness, a swirl of motion, up down and left and right all by the same token: the holiness of devastation. An empty trash can charges after her, a bold gesture but after a last moment of hesitation rolling away to some unknown end. A sandwich board flattens and teeters, and with a startling ‘clap!’ it falls to the ground and grinds across the brick in flight from the manic violence of its cousin. His cousin who, unable to control the excitement immediately gives chase.
The sandwich board, filled with fear, calls out to a table cloth that is skirting by. “Help! The trash can…!” Its voice fades as it concentrates on a dodge and a new strategy of escape.
The cloth joins the fray, giving chase, feinting left and feinting right. Their antics become a swirling motion, a tornado of commercial grade items slowly making its way down the mall. Another flag pole gallantly flies by, daring all in its path to engage. “twould be a duel to the death, a matter to end all matters. All ye who would oppose, oh how ye live in despair”