Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Watching

Do the people who live on this tropical island year round become oblivious to the sunrises and sunsets? Are these glorious Maxfield Parrish skies just part of the background, like the wallpaper in a child's bedroom or the bugle that blows a soldier's taps and reveille? Pewter and bronze. Rose and gold. Indigo blue and deep purple. A dozen shades of yellow. Just enough clouds to pick up the palette and splash it from horizon to horizon, not so many as to wash the color from the sky.

Being away for nine months of the year is enough to make one forget, to sharpen the senses, to put an edge on wonder. I step onto the terrace and that old Monet, the Sun, daubs and spatters. Brushstrokes of pure thermonuclear fire.

I hope I never become oblivious, jaded, deaf and blind. I think of a few lines from a poem of Grace Schulman, in a different context, describing a different kind of theatrical experience:
My father said: "It helps us bear God's silences,"

and I knew watching was a kind of prayer,
a make-believe you play by looking hard.