Morning. Friday, of course, so I'm writing only to myself. Another quiet winter day: gray sky, still air. The net of twigs between porch roof and window sill is motionless. A far-away crow flickers through the tiny-tiled mosaic of sky beyond the net.
I said to a friend who is torn between beloved places: I'm lucky, only having one home, and knowing what it is. I never really thought about that before.
I may love tales of wandering, I may love handling languages and stories from far away and long ago, but I'm no doubt where I belong. I belong in Portland, Oregon, and I would rather live in a scruffy suburban cottage here than in a house in the Greek isles overlooking the sea, than in a Venetian palazzo full of art. Someday I'll live in the city again, perhaps. And someday I may make another road trip, another excursion or two. I still greatly desire to see the southern stars. But this is home, forever and for good.
Not that it will remain. Its destruction goes on apace: this recession has slowed it, but not stopped it. But I've lived with that all my life: hill after hill logged, lopped, trashed; mile after mile of breathtakingly ugly strip installed, full of corporate outposts, each with its own logo and distinctive building-plans and parking lots, dropped in here just as they might be in Phoenix or Miami. Many of them not even aligned east-west, or squared with the street they front on, as if they're eager to display their contempt for the local and the homely.
The sky, too, has changed. I wonder if I'm the only person who has noticed it? The clouds are not as vague and formless as they used to be. With the climate change, we get more of the beautiful cloud-towers of the continental U.S. Thunderstorms are not quite so rare. The sky is clear more often. The shift is small, but I'm quite certain of it: these are the not skies I grew up under. They're wilder, deeper, more beautiful, and more dangerous. You can put change in motion, my dears, but you can't control where it goes. These are skies of disaster, but they may also be skies of a new covenant, someday.
Well. But I'm an ordinary man, trying to work out the end of an ordinary life. I've dodged disaster so far, and my worries are about whether I'll work out what to do with my chicken stock before it goes bad, and whether I can find socks that I'll really like. I float along in the dream of America. And outside there, today, not breath or or twitch of wind, not a single distinct form in the cloud-cover. Sleep, dear ones. Sleep.