Response Crafting

The this and that and the in-between.

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I left a little later from work today. I didn’t realize it was later until it already was.

I did the work that I wanted to do in the time it took to do it, and it was 4:15 by the time I realized it was 4… 5:45 when I realized most of the office had long since left. And it was beginning to get dark when I realized that I had better head out if I wanted any part of my commute to be done in any part of the remaining heat of the day.

Riding the bike into the fall, I have realized that this – gathering up the heat from the sunlight – matters.

I am not even a minute or two on the highway when I realize that I am facing a sky as my terrain – that I’ve caught that precise time when the streetlights along the highway have all come on already, though they aren’t needed for a moment more, and the day, in this moment, still clings bright, stretched taunt against the edges of the sky. I’m standing stark against that window that is not quite daylight and not quite night – a place that exists in a measure of moments. And then is gone.

It is both delicate and godlike in the way only skies – and only sometimes – seem to be.

I am riding underneath and into it, but I am heading not west but east, into the wash of what is illuminated by the light source behind me rather than into the light source itself. And seeing this wash in front of me is like finding myself at the crest of a hill suddenly bombarded by a scenery that’s taken me by surprise. And, seeing this, I find that I am taken aback with a sudden sense of serenity. For one moment, there is nothing and nowhere except the this and right now.

It occurs to me that this is perhaps – no, probably – the first time I have ridden home from work in this light.

streetlightParents used to tell their children to “come home when the streetlights come on.” Some parents did, anyway. Maybe some parents still do. I’m not sure mine ever did.

And to “go home when the streetlights came on” meant that children would stay out a little later in the summer; come home a little earlier come fall.

Tonight is earlier than last night. Tonight just a bit later than tomorrow. Either way, though, at this moment, I too am “going home.”

I am in this place and not that place. I am here because this place, it seems that it has… “more life to it.” That’s not to say that my life is here in this place – certainly no more than my life is in that place – because though the sky seems to be going that way, every day is a shift; a bit of a deliberate transition to doing so.

There are inhales. And there are exhales. And then there is that pause in the in-between. That moment when the lungs and the chest and the body hang suspended, in suspense, preparing themselves, in silence, for the next.

There is a decision to do and there is the doing; the commitment to something and then the act to follow through.

Our lives are a made up of countless mappings of these moments – those transitory times between what was and what will be; those spaces we traverse to get from this to that. The delicate and godlike; the beautiful in-between.


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