Monday, August 31, 2009

Painted in Amber

The light was old tonight, Autumnal and hollow, yellowed and fraying at the edges like a postcard from a forgotten age. The sky was overcast and gray except for one corner above the mountains where the clouds opened up like the mouth of a wide cup and spilled the most luxurious and somehow muted light I've ever seen. My grandmother once shared with me some postcards she'd collected while living in Germany in the 30's. They were black and white, but painted, like badly colorized movies on Turner Classics, and driving home after work today looking at the sky I couldn't help but remember them and wonder where those cards are now, whose hands have held them, what drawer they've been tucked into, moments, precious but forgotten, painted in amber.

It was a lonely sky, and although it was still quite warm, hot even, it looked cold and made me shiver thinking of taking Duncan out for a walk down Leawood. I climbed the long flights of steps, slipped the key into the lock and turned the knob. The apartment was dark except for a brilliant splash of golden light, so much more vivid than anything I'd seen on the ride home, as though the single ray of sunlight in all the world had found its way into my sanctuary and was waiting for me. Olive was sitting in it, one paw resting on Duncan's blue bone. She meowed softly when I closed the door behind me and entwined herself around my ankles as I set my things down on the couch. Duncan ambled down the hall, stretched and yawned and smiled as he does when he knows a walk is soon to come. The three of moved into the office and sat on the floor in the light together, enjoying the quiet and wealth of the moment.

For awhile, as we sat and leaned against each other, Olive rolling her cheeks and chin first against Duncan and then me, and Duncan smiling and chirping, never taking his eyes off of me, there was no better place to be in all the universe, as if the only sun in eternity was shining its light on us and calling us good, promising that moments like this would never be forgotten.


Greg said...

Just a little while before that, the same sun painted our clouds and sky brilliantly, in entirely different ways from what you've captured, and in every direction. Made me a little sad I'd forgotten my camera for last night's walk.

What a treat to come home and find that patch of late day sun waiting for you there on the carpet.

Your boy certainly glows in that warm light, doesn't he? : )

Curt Rogers said...

Last night the sunset was magnificent and the moon turned the darkest shade of red. And then, on our last walk, it hit me: California is on fire.

The smoke from those fires is sitting right on top of Denver and because of it our skies are brilliant. The sunrise this morning was amazing.

It's a tragic natural disaster, but at least something beautiful has come from it.

Traci said...


Love the yawning pic.

Charlie said...


Ruby's Mum said...

This captures so precisely that moment when it's clear that summer has quietly slipped out the door and the quality of light changes with the coming of autumn.

CJ/Rick said...

Amazing how those memories can wash over us just like those rays of sunshine. Your thoughts are a ray of hope and comfort as well.

Oh and Duncan is looking mighty fine.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

There are times in our life when we wish the world would stop and we could be suspended in our thoughts and pleasures. We can tell that this was one of those days and one of those moments for you.

caboval said...

Hi there! Love Duncan yawning!!! Oh and Happy Birthday Duncan!!!! Hugs Joey and Kealani