A Path in the Woods

While working on some passages in my current WIP, I remembered this old post describing a moment where the world seemed altered by an unusual fall of light. I thought it worth sharing again, while I work on a much overdue post about creative journaling for writers.

February 6, 2009

It was sunset, nearly, and a break in the rain made it a good time to run a quick errand. The clouds were still thick overhead, and in the east gray mountains were only darker shapes against an ominous sky.

To the west the clouds had cleared. Not completely, but a swath of blue appeared along the horizon, somewhere in the general direction of the ocean. And in the moment before the storm front could reassert its dominance over the day, the sun cast a brief, ferocious light across the valley.

Everything was caught in its golden glow – trees, hills, houses – and transformed by the stark angle of the light into something … Unreal, I thought. But at the same time more real, as if the shadows of everyday life had been burned away, leaving Plato’s ideal forms to shine through. No longer did I see a tree, a hill, a house; I saw The Tree, The Hill, The House. I saw perfection.

I briefly wished I had a camera, to capture that moment, to keep it and to share it. Instead, I have to make do with a few inadequate words (and we know language is never perfect). But even if did have a camera, and I was an expert photographer, I doubt film or pixels could have done it justice. True moments aren’t something you can replicate at will. All you can share are shadows.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.