Friday, December 17, 2010
Cold as the dickens on top of Mount Tabor this afternoon. The sun never showed its face, but diffused its pale aura across the hazy December sky. Looking east, the teeming city stretched away toward Gresham, already in twilight. In the distance, Old Man Hood glowered, livid in his marvelous blue-white cloak.
In the eyes of Old Hood, it was only yesterday that the humans arrived, their feet wrapped in beaver pelts, chipping out knives from congealed magma and flint, wading through the courses of his spring shedding. They are so numerous now, they've climbed up on his skirts; the merest shrug of his shoulder crushes them.
Fire-spitting Tabor had no sooner gone silent than was overrun by their swarms, as Hood sees it. But he has no such fears for himself. He'll be here long after the humans are gone.
By the time I walked around to the westward slope of Tabor's husk, the sun was low enough to stroke the cloud bellies pink. Away across the Willamette, darkness deepened in the woods of the West Hills. Before their void were the lights of the city. Those thousand peeping beams --office windows, navigational beacons, streetlamps, headlights of Formicidae automobiles --seemed a fractal replica of the larger cosmos scattered across the limitless Void beyond.
In the endless river of time that is the life of that infinite cosmos, even Old Man Hood, even eternal Pacifica, are but short-lived eddies.
As I watched, the light faded rapidly, like the accelerating descent of a man resigning to eternity. "That's very fine, indeed," said I.