Friday, October 29, 2010

Collard greens, or homemade chocolate chip & walnut cookies - which would you choose? I kept the greens, gave housesitting neighbor the choice. She pretended to think about it. Nice young woman. Back from a jaunt to the CSA, have gone the last three Fridays because neighbor is away, but will be back in a few days. I kept most of the perishables, such as limpid variegated lettuce and purple & chartreuse braising greens, fractal and ferny, with which I think a beautiful piece of gently cooked fish on top would be nice. There were also tiny new potatoes (18 for us, 18 for next door), apples, a bag of hefty sized carrots, 2 butternut squash, 1 onion, 1 chartreuse-fleshed cauliflower, a quart of yet more salad tomatoes and out along the cutting border truly what must be the last of the nearly spent cosmos, since widespread frost is forecast for tonight, plus a bit of salvia, fronds held above a skirt of thick dark leaves, tiny bubbled blossoms reminiscent of grape hyacinth in spring, for the mustard jar on the kitchen table.

It was overcast much of the day but in late afternoon the sun broke through the pallor and put on an extravagant drama. As I see from an upstairs aerie window that faces west, wide swathes of sky are banded with alternating dark gray and light peach, and the tumultuous charcoal - cloud? mountain? cloud in mimic imitation of mountain? - is gorgeously backlit by the sun setting exuberantly (yet itself invisible) behind the mountains, backlighting the baroque whorls of deep dark with flashing rims of platinum and gold. A musical approximation might involve triumphant trumpets played by angels. It's all very roiling and celestial and very painterly (less Hudson River School than, I don't know - Tiepolo? Rubens? Some European landscape painter of very grand roiling proportions, that might form a focal point on a wall at the Frick, or the Gardner.) But would they have included, in the nearer ground, shimmering black leaves, what remains of them in the bare trees, that do the tarantula dance in what must be a strong wind against the dramatic sky? I've just gotten up to look again and now the sun is gone, the sky is mostly an enormous blanket of dark gray cloud that's enveloped everything over the house and reaches west to meet with another bank of cloud except there's a wide Rothkoesque band of pale light sandwiched between the fronts, with a flourish of lit orange dashed at a margin, signature of sun. How can one not believe in the Divine at work with such a magnificent, magnanimously offered display, gratis- here you are, it's for you, de nada. How can you not notice? It's the visual equivalent of being taken by the shoulders and said: look you, pay attention. Do you suppose this happens every day?


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