Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Sheltering Sky

The hard blue sky of the desert is like god: perfect, remote, its gaze elsewhere. The water evaporates from a small animal, or a car burns lonely between nowhere and nowhere on the side of an empty highway, its thin transparent flames adding nothing to the heat of a merciless sun; the sky sees nothing, and cares less than that.

But here, New York - grey, stony New York - the sky is close and homey. Whether whited out in fast running snow, or dark and mordant with rain, or even cheerful blue on a fall day, it sees us and has reference to us; we contend with it in the language of skyscrapers and bridges, it with us in lightning and storm, but the city has a sky that knows us, as close as the roof of a world we can call home.

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