Leisure days have given me one more boon - the time and space to watch the setting sun. Arizona skies are at their charming and vibrant best around this time of the year, especially during sunsets. And the best part - I do not have to go far to soak in the beauty of the golden ball melting into the horizon - it comes to me, right at my patio.
A cup of hot chocolate, gentle soulful music (Louis Armstorng, Beatles, Golden Oldies of Bollywood) in the background, my camera on the side, and in my hands - an anthology of poems through the eras, especially the Romantics - Wordsworth, Yeats, Keats, Shelley, and perhaps the greatest 20th century poet - Neruda...And our brightest star descending behind the mountains - yes, sometimes, life is truly beautiful and pristine...
There are days, when even through the clouds and the haze, the light fuzzes through, and I echo Pablo Neruda...
"I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops."
And then, there are days, when the sky is less dramatic, picturesque nevertheless, and Wordsworth does perfect justice to the scape...
"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!"
But even on days as above, the clouds introduce their own theatrics...
The inscrutable workmanship of nature that Wordsworth eulogized is so believable when you see the canvas spread out in hues you could only imagine...
"Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows
Like harmony in music; there is a dark
Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles
Discordant elements, makes them cling together
In one society. How strange, that all
The terrors, pains, and early miseries,
Regrets, vexations, lassitudes interfused
Within my mind, should e'er have borne a part,
And that a needful part, in making up
The calm existence that is mine when I
Am worthy of myself! Praise to the end!"
And when the musings of the painter become denser, you really wonder if it is worthiness, destiny or sheer luck that you could witness these sights...
And the words of Pablo Neruda resound in your being when you see the progression of blues and yellows to turquoises and ambers to a burst of cyans, sapphires, crimsons, mahagonies, carmines, corals, auburns, scarlets, vermilions...colors that you cannot count and name...
"My soul is an empty carousel at sunset."
...All this, "in my sky at twilight".