Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Saturday, June 14, 2003  

There was a blackout this morning. Very early, around four; and I know because at the very moment it occurred, I awoke.

I am not normally a heavy sleeper, but for some reason I was sleeping even lighter than usual. It wasn't an uneasy sleep, but once I had gotten up, I found I could not bed back down.

So in the bible-black pre-dawn I arose, lit a couple of candles, had a shower - whatever the hour of the morning I wake up, I must cleanse myself - and made a cup of breakfast tea. Then by the flickering candlelight I picked up the most current book of the books currently at my bedside, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, and read:

"So Janie waited for a bloom time, and a green time, and an orange time. But when the pollen again gilded the sun and sifted down she began to stand around the gate and expect things. What things? She didn't know exactly. Her breath was gusty and short. She knew things that nobody had ever told her. For instance, the words of the trees and the wind. She often spoke to falling seeds and said, 'Ah hope you fall on soft ground,' because she heard seeds saying that to each other as they passed. She knew the world was a stallion rolling in a blue pasture of ether. She knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one by sun-up. It was wonderful to see it take form with the world and emerge from the gray dust of its making. The familiar people and things had failed her so she hung over the gate and looked up the road towards way off. She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie's first dream was dead, so she became a woman."

Soon after this the power returned. I stopped reading, and went and did my laundry.

posted by Jonathan | 6:40 AM 0 comments


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