Sunday, December 18, 2011

the sound of falling leaves

At first I only heard it. A soft pattering, like a low cool urgent stream tumbling over scattered gray slate stones, reflecting random flashes of the rare sunlight, wetting but not refreshing the earth beneath. Looking up, the blue-gray sky mirrored this imagined stream, low crenulated clouds, more cottony than smooth, slipping northeastward, foamy, with jagged white rents only hinting at the light but not the warmth of the mid-morning sun above. A single tree, one among dozens, randomly spaced, mature but not yet grand, all more alike than not, but all around rather than over me, stood trembling, its remaining small oval amber leaves vibrating, twisting to something unsensed while its green, rust, and barren neighbors stood perfectly and absolutely still. It was a sound like old ladies’ hands clapping. A slow yellow waterfall began as the trembling leaves dropped vertically to the dormant earth in a diminishing rustle. Yet nothing else moved, nothing except the shearing clouds. The tree’s shiver stopped, or perhaps paused, and an autumn stillness unlike any I had known since my midwestern childhood settled upon the morning. A poorly executed flock of tiny black birds silently darted overhead opposite the direction of the clouds. A squirrel expertly traced the top of the fenceline. The day came back to life.

P.S. Please forgive this self-indulgence.


Francis Shivone said...

I liked it. Well done.

BTW, I am completely on the darkside. You see, i now have an IPad2.

But, the Google magazine compiler pulls your blog into the mix along with the news. I guess it only makes blogger sites avaialable but I don't know yet. This is not too may steps away from being the only computing device most of us need.

John said...

Thank you. Although upon rereading, there are too many poorly placed adjectives.

Your comment on the iPad2 being the only computing device most of us will need echoes a couple blog posts a coworker and I debated earlier this week about user interfaces. The gray area between the iPad and traditional computers is extremely large. I see many ergonomic issues associated with touch screen interfaces. But that's a whole different topic.

Francis Shivone said...

On the iPad, John, yes I agree -- which seems to contradict my statement on "all most of us need." There is that sense of "what else do I need" at times --- but the ergonomic limitations are significant.

But it is a remarkable piece of equipment.

As far as the adjectives go -- hey, you had thoughts and you wrote them down. There's always time afterwards for editing.

On your best books post, have you ever read Walker Percy's, Love in the Ruins? It has some apocalyptic qualities but set today sso it's without any sci-fi. We've talked about it before but I loved Canticles.

John said...

As you'll see in today's post, a venture capitalist calls tablets "extremely disruptive" in a good way. There's no doubt they will change access to computing for many many people.

Love in the Ruins is now on my Amazon wish list.