Rematerializing at dusk.

I continue to be pretty tapped out, as far as writing goes. I'm not particularly happy about this situation. However, today, for the first time in a long time, I walked to class and got there early. In the evening, I walked to town and hung about reading there for awhile. These walks were little restoratives, at a time of year when I and everyone around me could use one or two restoratives. (Today was the day when we all acknowledged, out loud, over and over, that we're near the end: suddenly, everyone I talked to was talking about counting down, wearing out, struggling through, crawling along on all fours if necessary--about doing anything and everything necessary to keep all eyes on the page, on the prize, on the end that is near.) Another restorative: sitting in the sun, writing class-related e-mails, at 6:30 p.m. In the sun, I tell you. How warm it was, and how bright.

But now I'm simply tired, probably even too tired to indulge in another bath. One of my coping mechanisms for the semester's end has, somewhat inexplicably, become the late-night bath. Raise the body's temperature, climb into pajamas, fall fast asleep and dead to the world: not a bad way to end a busy day.

Also not a bad way to end a busy day: surveying the day's gallery of things my eyes have loved. May said surveying be not a bad way for you to start your day, you early-sleepers and early-risers.

And finally: I had a request earlier today for more dragon pictures, so when I set out from home before my morning class, I carried my camera in hand and at the ready. And lo, the dragon was gone again. I felt some degree of disbelief but no amount of peering and standing on tiptoe revealed his telltale purple horns. On my way back from class, I found a black and white cat where the dragon should have been. The cat was silky and friendly, and she squeaked instead of meowing. I used petting her as a subterfuge so that I could go up the driveway a little and see whether the dragon was hiding somewhere. But no--so it was good that petting the squeaking, serpentine-skeletoned cat was its own pleasure, really.

On my way home from the officehouse this evening, after the dogwood pictures, I looked to my left as I passed the dragon's home, and there he was, back in all his glory. Back in a new glory, in fact--one so good it made me guffaw there behind the wheel of my car (for while I was on foot most of the day, at this point I was not). When I walked to town only a few minutes later, I paused for this latest installment, which is not my finest photographic hour because the light was lowering but which I like nonetheless.

For those of you keeping score at home, he's sitting on the same stone circle on which he spent most of the winter--he's just further around the side of it, not front and center as in earlier materializations. Now, I'd say there are small mysteries to plumb here. Obviously someone else is carrying on a relationship with the dragon, and obviously it's someone who cares at least marginally for him, given that now he has his own captured castle, an arch of ceremony, if you will. What can it mean?