May 25, 2017 (Thursday)

by Yule Heibel on May 24, 2018

When I sat down at my desk just now and looked across it through the window, I thought for a moment the world had tilted. I’ve written before about the trash maples extending their reach into my field of vision. This morning it seemed they had done so by another meter or so in increased height, which made me instantly feel as though I were sitting at a much lower level. But at the same time, a solid and perfectly level bank of slate-gray cloud, tinged with a frigid, icy blue hinting strongly of cold, occupied the entire breadth of visible horizon line, right above the tree tops and my usually visible small patch of ocean. The effect of that “mirage,” taken together with the tilt-a-world effect of taller, much taller (all of a sudden) trash maple height, almost made me fall off my chair. I felt as though something hugely momentous had happened overnight, while I slept. Or that maybe I was Rip Van Winkle and had slept for decades, because surely the world couldn’t change that fast?

Well, in the end I hadn’t slept for decades, and the change was an uncanny combination of actual (and quite possible) change (namely a growth spurt by the trash maples), and optical illusion created by soon-to-shift, already shifting clouds. Change is coming all the same. It’s always afoot.

It stalks us, and yes a gigantic change like tilt-a-world can actually happen, in a flash. You might be confined to your bed in infirmity, or maybe you’re just too bored with it all to bother taking a walk in the rain, and as you don’t have a dog there’s nothing to force you to get a move on. So you stay put, and you think the world is staying put, too, and that nothing ever changes. Except it does. It could be an earthquake. It could be a massive weather event. It could be explosions, physics, chemistry – doesn’t have to be “man-made.” Nature has an encyclopedia of tricks up her sleeve. Brain decay. Alzheimer’s. A seizure. Electricity. It’s everywhere. And everywhere is changing all the time. Except here, except this dilemma, of routine, of yoke, of ties that bind. Maybe that’s why we do it – tie ourselves up in knots, tie ourselves down with burdens. To forestall change. But just you wait. Someday your trash maple will fall on your house, or maybe a house – your house? – will fall on a witch (you).

Rain is coming (again). On the upside: no watering the garden or the grass.

More thoughts, many thoughts yesterday, on change, on leaving. E. called in the late afternoon. It’s beautiful in Vancouver now, and she was fantasizing to [bf] how great it would be if W. and I lived in Vancouver again. (Rain will be coming soon. And they could have a tilt-a-world earthquake, too…) (I didn’t say this). Meanwhile, A. called in the morning, and in passing suggested I/we should come live in Berlin, if not for good, i.e., “ever,” then for a while anyway. This current city really isn’t the right place, but I don’t know anymore what or where the “right” place might be. And I’m feeling a bit too old to pick a city, any city, and go to live there. I might, after all, take all my changes with me, making more of the same. But then I also resent and resist that line of thinking, too, because I experienced a much better social life everywhere else other than here. So, the problem isn’t entirely with me. It’s at least 50-50.

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