dreaming in the shadows of the Sleeping Maiden

Mt. Tamalpais, October 15, 2012

Mt. Tam glimpsed in the brilliant light of an October afternoon

Once the fog lifted this morning, the light, freshly washed in the dissipating mist, came on strong, making the few clouds that still hung around glisten and sparkle in the flawless blue bowl of the sky.  And yet, with all this glitter in the sky, in the air, and on every surface that was willing to engage with great gusto with the imperatives of light, I am not about to forget that it’s the middle of October, the gateway to fall getting ready to pack up and move on to make room for winter. In a couple of hours, the sun will hasten away, with as much gusto as it burst on the scene today, and leave us with a longer night in its wake.

In the harsh illuminating flare of afternoon, I am sitting here with a cup of tea reading Tomas Tranströmer’s “For the Living and the Dead.” One of his prose poems, though it refers to spring as that season of transition, speaks to what I wanted to say about that pivotal time between worlds, both the outer and the inner:


I inherited a dark forest where I seldom walk. But a day is coming when the living and the dead change places. Then the forest starts moving. We aren’t without hope. The worst crime remains unsolved despite the efforts of many police. In the same way there is a great unsolved love in our lives. I inherited a dark forest, but today I am walking in the other forest, the light one. And the living things that sing, wiggle, wave and crawl! It’s spring and the air is very strong. I have an examination at the university of Forgetfullness and am as emptyhanded as the shirt on the clothesline.

-translated by Samuel Charters