Back at my post.

At 4:45 p.m. yesterday, the western sky darkening and darkening, I started to suspect we'd lose power. By 4:55 p.m., the power had flickered out one, two, three times, finally staying flickered out. The carnivalesque set in almost immediately: a student stuck in the office with me while a fast-moving summer storm berated and battered asked about whether I was planning to write a book and ended up paging through the dissertation; two-thirds of my teaching staff showed up at the house, later, and then all bets were off for the night. At about 10 p.m., coming back home from more bocce and sparklers on this greenest of deserted campuses--the ground so wet that the bocce balls kicked up their own celebratory fountains as they rolled, the night so light that when a jet passed over, its four engines and blinking lights (early stars) were just drifting, floating out of place--I realized that I was going to miss my nightly writing, for the first time since December. But as with so many other things I was missing, skimming near-bodilessly over the gravel, it seemed all right, mostly fitting, unavoidable anyhow. By 10:45 p.m. I was listening to Sufjan Stevens, a worthily fervent recommendation from a friend, through my best headphones; by 11 p.m., I was asleep. Just before I settled into bed, I looked out the back window of the house; the fireflies in the backyard were legion, hovering lightly in the startlingly pale (though moonless and clouded) night, their blinking an irregular, silent song of beauty and longing and transience. And as I slept, I dreamed for the first time in many days.