It's not so easy, writing here to an empty screen. I used to write
where there was interaction with readers, but things have changed,
and I write primarily to myself now.
This evening was one of those times when I wished I had brought
along a camera. I searched my car several times for the elusive
one, but had to surrender to the images which now only reside in
As I thought about writhing this piece, I thought of just how many
years I have been taking pictures and stashing them away in various
places. I know that I got my first camera in the 5th grade, and
it was a proud moment to be sure. I know that it was the fifth grade
because of the dates on the pictures in my first scrapbook. With
the passing of time, those tiny white corners barely hold those
pictures to the page.
For years the photographs were taken in black and white, I guess
because color film was not available for my old camera. It was make
of a brown heavy plastic, with the viewfinder on the top. One looked
down into the camera to frame the shot. The film came on a wide
plastic roll, but for the life of me, I cannot find any of the original
Once color film became available, I remember my penchant for sunsets.
At times I would run home in the evening from some playful endeavor,
because I thought the conditions were right for a "capture."
Tonight, as I stood watching a soccer game, a numbing northwest
wind drove through my clothes, right to the core of my being. Early
on though, I saw the makings of a sunset. Sure my child was out
there running around, but nonetheless, the sky had my attention.
A sunset blue began to deepen against a thin veil of cloud. High
in the atmosphere, where the air is so cold that moisture is frozen
instantly, clouds are formed of ice, not water vapor. Driven by
strong winds they are often thin and wispy, and have long curved
ends, hence the name, Mare's tails.
The game was going well for our team, but the bitter cold was not
going well for me. I danced a one-two step between the heater of
the car, and the icy wind. Finally it was time for the last act,
the stage was set, and the artist appeared.
The western sky was rimmed with long narrow strands of high cloud.
I was reminded of the fingers of an outstretched hand, reaching
across time and space, filling the canvas of the evening. Yellow
turns to orange turns to pink turns to purple. The bottoms of the
fingers were the darker purple, while the tops were highlighted
in pale pink. The clouds which were closest to me, were the more
orange and yellow, probably because of their distance from the setting
Whatever the science, I saw blue framed in yellow and orange and
pink and purple. I saw the sky glow and the colors of fall highlighted
by that glow. Standing with my back to the game, I mentioned the
sunset to another parent, who replied, without looking, "Yea,
isn't it nice?"
I saw the artist's hand painted across the sky..
For me, it was way more than nice. The studs may have been running
about on the field, but for me, the action was watching the mares
in the heavens.
(Note: Mare's Tail Image taken in 2002 here)