Wednesday, October 29, 2008

spectrum

I’ve told you before how my window looks out on the harbor. Yesterday afternoon, after the rain, I looked up and there it was – blue, green, red spun from air, so bright it looked like a mistake.

The last time I saw a rainbow, I was in the car alone, driving home from somewhere up north. It was back in the days when I still ate shellfish and we’d shared a plate of mussels and made conversation, the plate of piled up shells on the table between us. Life goes on, you said and what you meant was without me. From the car, the rainbow was a thin and distant ribbon.

But yesterday’s rainbow wasn’t like that at all. For the first time, I could see both ends, the whole triumphant span. Just outside the last band arced a second rainbow, a ghost of a rainbow with the order of colors reversed. Rainbows are like dreams – only idiots chase them. And I could see exactly where this one ended, in the water, under the waves right outside my window.

When was the last time you saw a rainbow -- literally or figuratively?

32 comments:

Antigone said...

I'm chasing one right now.

susan said...

I saw a little snippet of a rainbow a few weeks ago, when I was driving Curious Girl home from one of those sugar-rich birthday parties in an arcade. It was a sweet sight after 90 minutes of artificial hoopla (with genuine affection among friends, but still, artificial, plastic-crapola, kid-fun hoopla).

The last time I saw a full rainbow, a full double rainbow, in fact, was as I was in a taxi approaching the Anchorage airport in July 2005. Our last gorgeous Alaska view before heading into the airport for the long flight back to the midwest.

Mrs. Spit said...

Did you go hunting for the gold at the end of the rainbow?

niobe said...

Mrs. Spit: I thought about it, but since it ended in the middle of the harbor, it would have been a long, cold swim.

Elspeth said...

This summer, August, from my side porch, looking east at the end of a fierce thunderstorm.

catherine Illian said...

we saw lots and lots of gorgeous rainbows in ireland in September-- they seemed bigger-- wider and more colorful than the ones in the states.

Tash said...

Literally? Last february in St. John's. Just the right half of it, enormous bands, diving right down into the little cove outside our room. We photographed it, because it truly did look like a greeting card, or some sort of magic.

figuratively? Can't remember. still waiting for the unicorns and mystical fairies, too. I'll let you know.

k@lakly said...

I'm still waiting for the temps here to get out of the high 90's...to actually get rain or a rainbow out of the dry, hot, barren sky, I can't even imagine it anymore.

Rebecca @ Clumsy Kisses said...

Last week, and I took a photo:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/envisage365/2962900576/

Here

The Nanny said...

I'm not even kidding you--I saw that rainbow yesterday. We stopped journalism class just to look at it. It was the most defined, beautiful rainbow I'd ever seen.

Christine said...

i've seen many but my favorite was he one my little girl spotted from the car on the way home from dinner on my 31st birthday. it was her very first of all time.

Furrow said...

Maybe there was some pirate's gold at the bottom of the harbor. Probably haunted. Best to leave it alone.

Emily said...

This is really beautiful, Niobe.

We see more rainbows from our own backyard, probably once or twice a week during the summer.

Cara said...

Emma's birthday. Very special.

thirtysomething said...

Lovely. Almost...well, majestic in a way don't you think?
I have seen double rainbows at the beginning of each of my four pregnancies - I always took it to mean that although there are things out of our control, everything was going to be alright. And, in fact it was. Might sound corny, but when i see a rainbow now, I stop what I am doing if I can and just listen. Just be in the moment.

Hannah said...

I saw one from my backyard last summer, holding the baby and with Isaac there too, stretching up on his tiptoes to see as much of it as he could over the treetops.

I still remember the first rainbow I ever saw, out my nanny's back door when I was still a toddler. Every time I see one, I feel that sense of magic all over again.

Topcat said...

The last time I saw a rainbow, I was nearly at the end of my pregnancy. It took our breath away, I got out of the car and took pics, even posted about it. I took it as a sign, that things were going to be amazingly spectacular.

A week later, husband gets diagnosed with the pesky cancer tumours, and I think; f*ck you rainbow. You didn't mean anything at all.

For a while I thought, maybe it WAS a sign, that he would get thru cancer.

Now? Now I just think things are random. No rhyme or reason. We can read into things as much as we like .... shit's still gonna happen.

Maybe just admire how pretty it is, right then in the moment. That's all.

xox

K @ ourboxofrain said...

Yesterday. It was truly spectacular. I really wished I wasn't getting on the highway, as I did in fact have a camera in the backseat.

We saw one six years ago, the day we got engaged. It's one of the few rainbows I remember seeing, and the only one I've successfully photographed.

Melissia said...

The last one I saw was this August on the Isle of Skye in Scotland during our only 10 minutes of sun during a 10 day vacation. It was 48 degrees, the heather was blooming, sheep and hairy brown cows were in the fields and it was my birthday. It was glorious and totally unforgettable. I have never spent 10 days so happy to be cold (I live in Texas!)

flutter said...

it was a day, not too much unlike today, except I was in a place where the heat was not so oppressive. There was a slight snowfall, but the sun was shining through the pine trees. The sun bounced off the snowflakes and a rainbow encompassed the entire sky.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

It's funny you said that rainbows are like dreams...I was thinking about this just the other day. That both are barely out of reach, slightly intangible with a morsel of what is real and a dollop of the imaginary. Then I thought, wow, the rainbow is just out of my reach, a fingertip away, like my daughter was 14 years ago (as a deadbabymama). She was probably the last real rainbow I really touched but didn't. Thank you for posting this. It was really evocative for me.

Bon said...

the last time i saw one, i think it was just a regular old day in a regular old year and i was somewhere far away on a train and i caught it out of the corner of my eye but i was too busy to stop and really look and now, i never see them.

and i don't know why.

figuratively, though...hell, i'm all covered in gold and leprechauns, swimming in the bounty and grateful and suspicious.

CLC said...

The best one I have seen was in County Kerry Ireland. It would rain every other five minutes, then the sun would be back out, and there would be a rainbow in between the mountains. Very cool.

painted maypole said...

just a few weeks ago - but the best one we ever saw was driving over the lake - like the one you're tlaking about it was bright and we could see the whole thing!

Anonymous said...

I hope this posts since I don't have a computer and am using my blackberry. The week before my son was born-just 3 weeks ago-i saw rainbows three days in a row. I felt like it was the daughter I lost last year telling me it was going to be ok on Monday. Last night I had dreams of rainbows, full circle rainbows and felt peaceful.

-E

christina(apronstrings) said...

maybe it's a sign of a happy ending. i you don't...but i have a lot of hope for you. xoxo

Topcat said...

Yesterday afternoon ... mere hours after leaving my previous comment here, the biggest, brightest rainbow stretched over my entire house. The most intense one I have ever seen in my life.

I thought wow .... that Niobe's pretty darn powerful!!

Lisa b said...

I saw a huge, perfect rainbow with my daughter a few weeks ago. It was magical. thanks for reminding me.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

The last time I saw one was just after I had dinner with my parents and shared that I was pregnant with them. I'm not sure if it was a sign or not, but I like to think that it was. :)

Caro said...

Yesterday, and it was beautiful.

the dragonfly said...

About a month ago there was one just outside my building, across the whole sky, and I could see both ends...and it was actually a double rainbow! It was amazing.

Julia said...

In one of Monkey's drawings-- it's a recurrent theme (or is it a symbol?)-- so sometime this weekend, I am sure.

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