There is something about looking westward into the waning light that makes me incredibly happy.
Once I drove through Illinois under a spreading wide field of fluffy white that extended into infinity, cottony sheep drifting gallantly and with amused authority over the highways through a sky-blue background.
Then, for a year, I watched purple merge with golden pink over the jagged silhouette of the Front Range, lost in Chief Niwot’s curse of the Flatirons. When the year was over I could still glimpse pinkgold over jutting mountains in my rear view mirror as I turned for east again.
Then for a brief time I saw gold in the brilliant dusk mirrors of the tall crystal buildings along False Creek in Vancouver, sighing every time I biked past the Burrard Street Bridge, glimpsing silvergold on acres of glass standing tall along the water’s edge. I sighed at the beauty of this city that wasn’t mine.
For two years now I have had the bay at my side, looking across gently lapping waters to the bluegrey low shapes of the San Juans beyond. One red building in my living room view lights up near dusk and I have often felt I could sit and look at that magic light against red brick for hours.
I have known now for six months that this home by Bellingham Bay would not be mine by the time the year is out. For a little while I did not know where or perhaps why this would be, why I would leave my home between the bay and the mountains, but I blame Picasso.
Picasso. There is a Ray Bradbury story that I read a million years ago about a small boy meeting an old man on the beach, an old man who wore a striped French fisherman’s sweater and drew amazing figures in the sand only for the sea to wash them away. People in the story whispered, “It’s him. Pablo,” and were devastated that the great man’s art could be so fleeting, that the ocean could come and take away the marvelous figures dancing on the sand and that no one could save them. I wondered what was the big deal. Picasso, an old guy who drew women with two eyes on one side of their face. No, Picasso I would save for later. I would allow Picasso to be a blank spot in my awareness, a door that would open at the right time, if the right time ever came.
On Black Friday I found myself sharing Picasso in a way I never thought art could be shared. A dance. Coming together and moving apart, then together again, words spoken but never said, glances, whispers, wonder. On Black Friday I glimpsed what life could be like, if only I let it. The dance, the wonder, the electricity, the aliveness, the shared experience of total beauty and something far bigger than two can create alone.
And so the dance unfolded.
Yesterday I merged onto I-5 as the sun waned, heading to the place where much of the unfolding has occurred. I glanced in the mirror over the lake and saw Seattle lit up, shining, hopeful, expectant. It was the same light that has lit so much beauty and joy, and this time Seattle was lighted for me, for the us we are creating, for the place that in a few days will be my new shared home, the place behind the door that Picasso opened. I saw all this in a glance and smiled, two eyes on one side of my face, and fell a little more in love with the Self who feels joy in a quality of light, who adores and is nurtured by the blue grays of the waters, the many-colored grays of the sky and the contrast of color against gray, and who loves loving and being loved by her man.
Every day now I will turn the corner and see the lake that lies below and across it the shining city standing beyond, and feel joy in the magic of creation so sweet that I will not mind if the waves come and take it every day, because I will know that it can be created yet again the next day and the next and the next.