Saturday, December 1, 2007

nightfall


At dusk, time hesitates, suspended between light and darkness. Slowly, the day disintegrates under the solvent of night. Colors leach from leaves and grass. Outlines are visible, but details blur and fade. What's left is ambiguity and surmise.

The French have a phrase for this time of day --entre chien et loup, between dog and wolf. You're walking home from the fields, forest on either side, and, all at once, there's an animal just ahead of you on the path, muzzle raised and eyes gleaming. Your own eyes strain at the twilight and you're not sure whether to be afraid. You're poised at the edge of either something utterly ordinary or disaster. And all you can do is wait to see what happens next.

16 comments:

the dragonfly said...

I love that photo..

Sarah said...

very interesting turn of phrase

Julie Pippert said...

Beautiful description of that suspended feeling, and gorgeous photo. Love it.

Julie
Using My Words

christina(apronstrings) said...

i love the photo. are those stairs in your house?

i don't know that it is the "edge of either something utterly ordinary or disaster." i think it is the edge of something AMAZING or disaster. risking disaster for amazing...that's a different story.

thirtysomething said...

How profound. And very mysterious. The picture is beautiful.

niobe said...

Christina: Yes, those are the stairs to the back porch.

You're absolutely right, for my purposes it would be a better metaphor the way you describe it. Or maybe, if it turns out to be a dog, you can finally safely make your way back home. If it turns out to be a wolf, uh, not so much.

slouching mom said...

gorgeous words, gorgeous photo.

Tash said...

Lovely photo, and a phrase I'm going to try and keep in my dwindling memory banks along with my phone number. Very much where I feel I am now.

Megan said...

I'm right there with you at the moment, Niobe.
Although I tend to think of it as being on the cusp of finding out whether my life will be a happy one - or not.

meg said...

I like that phrase, though in my case I suspect the options would be a rabid dog or a wolf! Do they have a phrase for that?

Coggy said...

You're poised at the edge of either something utterly ordinary or disaster. And all you can do is wait to see what happens next.

How true

Christine said...

wow.

you are a true poet with an amazing eye, too.

Running on empty

painted maypole said...

i hope that dog comes with it's tail a waggin'

Ruby said...

Beautiful. I love, love, love the picture! Your poetry is beautiful as well.

A wolf would be interesting.

I know you can hear me... said...

All around fantastic!

Furrow said...

Around here -- and probably there, too -- that dog at dusk is a group of deer by the side of the road, and it can either be a quaint roadside tableau or a murder/suicide waiting to happen.

As always, that's a gorgeous photo.