Wednesday, April 06, 2011

When Evening Closes In

It’s Wednesday evening, a little after 6:00. I’m sitting on my deck with the laptop and the sun is still bright behind me. But the temperature is getting cooler. I know the night is coming. There was a lot of wind earlier today but it is quiet and still here now, as if the air itself is a bit tired and ready to sleep.

Our bird feeders are largely empty except for some doves, which are evening feeders. I hear them calling in the distance and sometimes I call back to them. And now and then I see a Cardinal or Blue Jay dropping in for a last sunflower snack before bedtime. The day is closing up for most of the birds as well.

There is just a hint of yellow in the light over my shoulder, the yellow that to me will always be a mark of evening. I love this time of day. And yet it often makes me a bit melancholy. I cannot say why rationally. The feeling is deeper than that, and I have to wonder if it is not some genetic remnant from a time when night was the bad time, the time of teeth and claws and hunger.

Tonight will not be a bad time. I will eat good food and will have Lana here with me. And later, I hope I will write well. I hope, also, that all of you will be safe from the teeth tonight, and that you will have those things around you that give you satisfaction.

Let the night close in. But may it not close upon you.
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50 comments:

ArtSparker said...

The end of day...so different from the morning when anything is possible. On a good day, one can look at something accomplished, a little victory over time.

Ocean Girl said...

This is so beautifully written Charles. I was there with you, understanding, imagining, feeling.

Twilight is not my favorite time. It makes me melancholic beyond control, I would try to avoid it.

Thank you for your wishes, and we wish you the same.

Charles Gramlich said...

Artsparker, that's it exactly.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ocean girl, for me it's rather bittersweet.

Tyhitia Green said...

I love that, Charles. :-D Is it published somewhere? If not, it should be. ;-)

Ty Johnston said...

I felt a primeval soul in those words ... a barbarian outside the walls of his cave, a cowboy alone on the prairie, a khan riding without his clan ...

Hemingway would've been proud, as likely would've Bob Howard. L'Amour, too.

Cloudia said...

Thank you for that lovely post and benediction.

Melancholy, answering doves, and thinking Lana a wonderful artist:
we agree, friend!




Warm Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

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David J. West said...

Thanks Charles-had some good inspiration hit while I was driving today-hope to channel it into writing tonight.

Charles Gramlich said...

Tyhitia Green, glad you liked. I just finished it this evening. Don't know if I will do anything with it.

Ty Johnston, the kind of images I'm pleased to have evoked. thanks.

Cloudia, you're welcome.

David J. West, I made pretty decent progress tonight myself and am happy about that.

Mary Witzl said...

I had this feeling last night myself, half a world away. For me, dusk is filled with memories of the day winding to a close, the angst of who will do the dishes and where are my pajamas?

Cardinals and blue jays? How I miss them, along with mockingbirds, hummingbirds, and red wing blackbirds.

Deka Black said...

Atmospheric. very atmospheric. You know what? You make me imagine a tired traveler dressed in puritan clothing, wielding a sword and carrying a weird cat-headed staff.

And then, when he asks you for shelter this night you answer:

"Sure, old friend, you're late"

(btw, i like more night hours. Not so burning like day.)

G said...

Excellent piece of prose. Felt like I was there on the deck with you.

the walking man said...

Oddly enough I was cool until about 10:15 when a young friend called in sheer panic because she had a feeling that something horrible was happening to one of her friends. This person was going down the list to make sure nothing was wrong. I normally would not have returned the call (I let it go to voice mail) but I did and was able to at least get rationality back on track. So yeah in it's own way it was a bit strange of a night.

laughingwolf said...

right on, charles...

as a kid, i was not a fan of night... after i realized no light is possible without dark, i fully embraced both... all part of the yin/yang....

Charles Gramlich said...

Mary Witzl, we get all of those in our yard, though blackbirds only once in a while. Yes, that feeling is very human.

Deka Black, and would his name be Solomon Kane? :) I recognize old SK.

G, sometimes the deck reall inspires me. SOmething about being out in the air, feeling the life around me.

Mark, rationality is often hard to come by,and night doesn't help.

laughingwolf, I largely became a night person in grad school because of how I worked. it's the transition thing that creates the emotions in me. I love transitions and yet they are fraught with emotions.

Tom Doolan said...

I love allusions to a primeval night. Interesting counterpoint to the mellow mood of the rest of the description.

AvDB said...

I enjoy that magic hour wholeheartedly. I've become slightly less nocturnal than I was ten years ago, but I'd still rather see the sun go down than watch it come up.

Merisi said...

Oh yes, those words could pull one in, beautiful.
I hope your evening ended the way you wished for!

I love hearing the Angelus bells at six o'clock in the evening. I still haven't figured out where all those bells are ringing, but from the volume of their sound there are quite a few around my neighborhood.

I remember singing as a child, "Oh how lovely is the evening, is the evening,
when the bells are sweetly ringing .... "

Merisi said...

Btw, your Klingon gahk comment was the second time today that Star Trek crossed my screen. Serendipity.

Michelle's Spell said...

Beautiful piece of writing, Charles! I also like the night closing in, but you're right, it does feel a little melancholy at times. The time for dinner and reflection. Here's to staying away from the claws . . .

Charles Gramlich said...

Tom Doolan, I like those kinds of contrasts and juxtapositions. Thanks.

AvDB, I probably would rather too but I see it come up at least three times a week during the school year as I get up to go to class at 6:00 in the morning.

Merisi, I heard those bells when I lived in Fayetteville, but most of my life I've lived too far out in the country to hear them. They are lovely. LOL about Star Trek.

Michelle, definitely. I'm reading your novella by the way. Just got started.

The Golden Eagle said...

I love the way you described the scene.

I don't really mind evenings--although there is a sense that something's ending as the sun goes down and it gets cooler.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am most melancholy in the morning. Almost every morning. It goes away once I get up. Usually. Twilight actually soothes me. I don't expect much of myself at night.

Carole said...

It is a great time, the twilight. You describe it so well, I feel peaceful in the reading of it.

Deka Black said...

Yes, yes. It was him, of course ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

The Golden Eagle, definitely so.

patti, hum, that's kind of intersting. I like mornings and often say I wish I saw more of them.

Carole, thanks, glad you liked.

Deka Black, thumbs up.

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

Indeed, as dusk approaches in warm glows that belay the cold that is the northlands cloak, I feel the hunger as it scythes in increasingly sharp arcs of bestial urgency. The night time is not far away; the light will sleep, but it will not die. It will rise again, with or without us to witness its new burn.

Good thing mom just called, steaks on the barbecue. God bless her and all mothers. And you as well for writing this wonderfully evocative bit of prose.

Danette Haworth said...

Nice imagery . . . there is definitely some melancholy brought in by the dusk. The high decibel noise of my children keeps it from entering my home

Charles Gramlich said...

eric1313, that was cool man. Definitely a polished little gem right there. Thanks for sharing. (I'll have some steak too.) :)

Danette Haworth, yes, children are a shield against melancholoy

Barrie said...

It's windy and rainy here tonight. I'm glad to be inside. Very nice post! I especially love the last two lines.

Charles Gramlich said...

Barrie, thanks. Glad you enjoyed.

Paul R. McNamee said...

I liked this a lot. I would like to get out on my deck at dusk far more often than I do!

Charles Gramlich said...

Paul, I know. I find myself missing more time on my deck because of the pressures of work. I'm starting to regret that more and more

Steve Malley said...

Beautifully put, Charles... Beautifully put.

Jodi MacArthur said...

Why do I hear a "Muahahha" echoing in a dark empty room? Very cool, Charles. This would be neat to hear read out loud. I like it when you talk about the birds at the feeders (and Lana's pics are always gorgeous).

eric1313 said...

hehe... only a bit of polish--fixed a glaring typo! Can't have that even in a response lol.

Good writing is inspiring, and I'm glad I can still be inspired.

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve Malley, thankee, man.

Jodi, there's always an evil laugh where I am involved.

Eric1313. It's always good to know. :)

Travis Cody said...

I felt the peace and relaxation from your prose. I did not have the kind of feeling on Wednesday, but I do this evening as the weekend is here.

X. Dell said...

If it weren't for the doves, I would have thought you were talking about baseball (Cardnals, Blue Jays, etc.).

It's interesting, because twilight's perhaps my favorite times of day, too. For some reason, it holds some deep dark mystery that's worth solving.

If there is a melancholy about twilight, I would wonder if it's for the same reason why yellow lights annoy us. Twilight's neither dark, nor light. It's brief and mercurial--just when you get used to it, it changes, or goes away. It's ambiguous.

sage said...

Nice description of the day's end. I love the "shoulders" of the day--dawn and dusk. And the birds! I hope your evening was blessed.

Lana Gramlich said...

Very cool post, baby. I felt like I was out on the deck with you.

ivan said...

"When to the sessions
of sweet,silent thought..."

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis Cody, even as I wrote that peaceful piece, some things not so peaceful were happening. Sigh.

X. Dell, I neve thought about the Baseball connect. And I'm not sure about Twilight either. It really is an emotional feeling I get, sometimes very strongly. But I'm sure it's not universal. I like the experience of twilight. It's the emotions that are bittersweet.

sage, was up before dawn today and thinking how nice it was out. I would like to enjoy them more.

Lana Gramlich, thank you sweety.

ivan, yeah, what you said. :)

jodi said...

Charles, the night brings me no fear and never has. I like the comfort of dinner and tv and finally unwinding.

Vesper said...

What a wonderful, wonderful post, Charles. I totally understand the feeling. But I love evenings and nights - I guess I like their mystery...

jennifer said...

Simply wonderful.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jodi, spoken as a typical night owl. :)

Vesper, I do like nights a lot too, and evenings, although I go through that little melancholy phase.

Jennifer, thanks, I appreciate that. :)

cs harris said...

Beautifully written and heartfelt, Charles. I love that golden light of evening stretching long shadows across the world.

Charles Gramlich said...

Candy, the deck inspires me about everytimg I go out there.