Archive for November 1st, 2009

A Certain Slant of Light

amywink November 1st, 2009

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Emily Dickinson’s lines came to me yesterday. Though she writes of winter afternoons, the certain slant of our Texas light pierced the entire day as we left October to move into November, though still in autumn. The weather is lovely and clear, and the sun seems poised always south, angled rays casting long shadows, even at midday. The tall grasses catch the light and their seed heads spark like frost.

It’s a beautiful kind of light, making the horses glint and glimmer on one side, and dark silhouette on the other. But it’s a hard light to move toward, like a stiff wind, a blinking-sharp and uncompromising glare. So I thought of Emily Dickinson’s winter afternoons yesterday, while driving Will in the early morning.

We had a somewhat chilly drive since our morning started out in the mid-40’s, but the day warmed to 70+ and the sun stayed to the south. I watched Will’s shadow along the road, to check his headset and frame. . . and because it was beautiful.

I’d wished for a camera to catch the image there. There’s a difficult challenge to a photographer who drives–both hands are completely occupied!–but at least as a writer, I can put my brain to work in other ways and try to capture that moving shadow with words.