At the side of the road is a barn, blazing fully red in the full high sun. All around the barn is the sharp palette of fall, colors quietly vivid, blues and golds and browns without name, without comparison. At the side of the barn a sapling is growing, weaving and wavering its way up against those red planks. It is a small barn, but I love it each time I pass it, both coming and going. Going eastward, I cannot see the door stranded in its upper level. Going westward, I always miss the tree.
On the road last night, I realized that I hadn't left you a writing: no note to say that I'd gone or that I'd return. At just about the moment that realization hit me, I also realized that I had no desire to photograph what I was passing, though in the weeks since I've driven those roads, the world has made itself over yet again. Somehow, taking a day off from representation felt transgressive and restful. The sun was finally back out, as of yesterday evening, and I was able to see how the now-gold of the corn is a truly splendescent thing, so different from the brilliance of sunlit yellow leaves. It is, I think, so much itself that I am going to give up my evening's fruitless search for a simile: this corn, it is so gold, it is gold like... No. The corn is its own self's color, today a very transfiguration of yellow and gold.
But the working of water under the fields, as it showed in the aftermath of this week's rain: now, that was a revelation to me. I am, as I may have made clear from time to time, a lover of airplanes and flying. I particularly love seeing water-soaked fields from above--not flooded fields, mind, but fields where some of the ground is visibly saturated, darker than what surrounds it. Fields of subterranean streams, of water fled underground. Yesterday, I could see fields that I knew would be swathed in dark, curling loosely under clearing, if I had seen them from above. But I watched their variegation from a lower angle, loving every moment of shine and sheen where the water had pooled on the surface--all those glints that, from above, would be mirror-flecks but that, from the ground, were gashes of blue sky pulled right into that spilt-over earth.
The sound of trains in the distance last night, as I lay to sleep in the narrow, white-sheeted guest-bed of a generous friend, reminded me of the last time I heard distant trains passing a strange place, and of how I have planned, ever since, to write you a meditation on distant trains. Perhaps tomorrow will be the day for it.