Is it really so strange?

I like cloudy days. But I prefer ones with sun. And I can be a solemn individual. So it’s not out of some need to feel sprightly or appear in good spirits. There’s something biological, maybe, in the need to feel the sun on me. And I love to see contrasting shadow and light. And I like it when the sun breaks through an embankment of sculptured clouds to suddenly splay its golden feet on terra firma. And evenings when the sun burns on the horizon as this fiery globe and you feel charmed to have lived out a whole day under such a colossal furnace.

I like to think of the sun as the plot and night as the narrative. Plus I like the polarity that the sun creates by really emphasizing the difference between night and day. When it’s overcast and cloudy there’s just this nullifying uniformity. There’s no distinctions, just a prolonged sameness that sinks all around into vapidity. But then there are days when I like to be in a funk and have the sun hidden away and the greyness of the day palpable because it almost duplicates my feelings, so I don’t feel alone.

I like storms, too. It must be the rebel in me. Storms are what ignited man’s imagination to rage against the oppressors and question the right of religion to dominate man’s emotional and intellectual state — not too mention his own soul! And some of my favourite myths about the gods are the ones in which Zeus and Odin threw lightening and stomped around in the clouds.

One of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me was a time in Eire when a herd of wild ponies came stampeding toward me on the turlough. And there was nowhere to hide. Just these old stones thrusting out of the ground like ancient teeth and a few scrawny hawthorn, bent and battered. Well the horses came roaring down on me and I ran heedless until there before me rose a rock like some giant’s backside sticking out of the earth. I scrambled on the lichen-patched buttocks while the wild ponies pounded by.

When they were gone I sat and listened to the cuckoo call far off in the woods and watched as a few gnarly sheep knelt on their dirty knees and nibbled the short grass as if nothing on earth had gone on.


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