The Sky’s On Fire
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You can see this, right? I mean if you look:
That’s plain as day–well, late day–when it’s stuck in your face and you open your eyes. In fact I’m half blind squinting straight into the arc weld shrinking into itself on the fringe of night, folding up the day and running off to the west. But that’s not all that sunset is nor all that’s whisked to the west and away.
Comes up like that too, doesn’t it? It’s the early time, bright golden light warming wings for flight, leaving the dew but taking the chill.
Fresh painted colors so blazing vivid because they’re new, and not just to the day, but also the season: it’s early summer. What a down-to-earth thing, this whole waking up to simple flight in every furious color of the rainbow. The hive’s alive, isn’t it? Launch to the four winds.
And worker bees don’t care about duration. Rather, it’s all about the flight; the getting and carrying and going then putting down. To get and carry some more, crisscrossing the landscape with studious intent. The sky’s full, abuzz, worker bees everywhere.
That’s the engine driven by daylight, roused by the sunrise–alarm clock!–always moving once warm and awake the swarm spreads east to west in the sky. Later is better, to me: I’m senior in the air, which means I don’t get up early any more to fly.
Sure, I vaguely remember “back in the day” when I did, when the coolest thing was dawn on the flight ramp, among the flock of big metal birds fueled and ready to split the air with the roar of jet engines. But this is now and I sleep later since I can; so yeah with the relentless hands of the clock, the dawn is behind me now and almost a piece of nostalgia anymore.
Guess folks leave the nest less wide-eyed the more wake-ups you stack end to end. Slower? Less color? The more comfy chair for you then?
Early, late–whatever the time, you HAVE to fly, to leave the hive eventually and take to the air. That’s what the day brings with the arc of the sun from the first sliver in the east that vanquishes the night. Those were the days, when dawn meant a new day of discovery, not just covering ground. Whatever happened was almost incidental, choreographed by others bigger and further along in their sunlight arc.
And when the light is brightest, the world at it’s hottest brightest best, it seems like moving is all anyone does, and so you fly too, making your rounds in the sky.
Follow them! Move, and move fast, from flower to flower; it’s what you have to do, what everyone does: noon is no time to rest. So we fly, like everyone else. Yeah we do.
So back to my original question: you can see all this unfolding, right? The greater significance of the flight, the ground crossed, the sun chase we never will win? Or am I seeing it because it’s in my face, but for you, only a sidelong glance.
You’re flying too but even though you’re going straight ahead, your only view is from side to side. You aren’t beak-to-beak, chasing the sun, tending the fires and logging the run.
–but also with the colors as they fade in the sun’s march with which we can’t keep up. It’s the subtle consolation prize from the lateness of the day: gold, goldeness as if lovely parting gifts: thanks for playing.
You can hardly remember the boldness of late spring cardinal colors–who gets up at dawn anyway, if you don’t have to–in the expiring light of day that slants and shrinks away.
Then you can almost do the geometry and see the arc quietly closing in on the horizon. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you don’t have the pointy end horizon view, or don’t want to.
You have faith in where you’re going and on the way there, a glance outside is enough to see that we’re upright, that you’re still moving blossom to blossom, at least forward. And that’s enough for now anyway, right? Always that “now,” did you notice that?
But sunset’s about “then,” not now; “there,” not here. How many times enmeshed in our busy-bee flight of right now do we really think about “then?” About where that fireball’s headed, taking with it the warmth and the color and the day? Not just the end of flight, but the end of flying?
Colors fade, motion ceases, eventually. Not everyone flies past the golden sunset, you’d have to suppose but who really knows? I just fly the jet for you and though I often wonder what everyone does when they get “there,” I’m too soon taking off again, taking others wherever “there” is for them.
Look, it’s not my place to tell you how to bee–I’m still trying to figure that out myself. I just wanted to give you a heads-up on the revelation that you can only get from the front.
Yeah, the sky’s on fire. But that ain’t all that’s burning.
“Waltz in Blue” is original music by Chris Manno.
Copyright, Cyber-Sonic Music 2010