I stood next to the schoolyard fence, looking down the sloping stretch of wet street. Black band of asphalt cut between two rounded hills both green with short grass that followed three days of rain. Cold wind rode along the fence line snapping through the flag overhead. To the left, project apartments sat tucked into the slope, each cut at a different angle. Through these cinder block buildings three boys ran pulling shirts and jeans from clothes lines. A woman leaned from a window to call out.
While this little sequence occurred, I did not arrange the sights or attempt to distinguish one sound from another. I didn't move. I waited. Then, in that quiet gap between the what now and the what next, impact, weight, scale, sequence, even where I was lost an edge of specificity. Just for that instant, the one or two loud sounds, the rising glow of street lights, gaping ditches in the hillside, further tumble of boys in the wet grass, my internal discourse fused into softer shapes. Reds, and whites, denim, cotton, skin, and geometry blended to a single color and a simple shape.
For maybe a minute but no more. That’s how I felt just before I left.
December 14, 2010