My sweetheart is "at camp" this week. He's participating in Centrum's Acoustic Blues Fest in Port Townsend. A sucker for road trips I offered to drive him and his gear to Fort Worden where the Festival takes place, five hours on the road, just to see our dog run on the beach and my hubby in his dorm room. On our way to the utmost north-eastern point of the Olympic Peninsula we noticed the temperature was lower than it had been when we left; on my way back to Seattle I felt it went up again the moment I crossed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Leaving the Kitsap Peninsula behind me it was as though I drove into a moderately warm oven the moment the tires of the truck hit the mainland. It was 6 p.m. and the sun, while still high in the light blue sky, seemed veiled.
When I stepped out of the car in front of our house in Seattle I noticed a wood burning smell, not unpleasant, rather like that of a good campfire (no, really) but I drew no conclusions other than that I was glad I could detect smoke again after living without a sense of smell for two years, and that our neighbors must have added some aromatic chips to their charcoal barbecue pit.
By 8:30 p.m. the sun stood like a Spanish blood orange over the horizon without any of the usual spreading of colors in the sky, a bloody red ball against Wedgwood powder blue. In the iPic I took the sun was golden, not red. The surrounding atmosphere of the globe was reddish pink. It all had an apocalypse-like feel to it. The stillness of the summer evening, the sun like a ball on fire, a photograph that didn't speak of reality, it made me want to scream. A silent scream like the one uttered by the figure in the famous Munch painting. For the longest time people thought Munch had to be crazy for "seeing" such an image, but astronomers discovered changes in the atmosphere due to a volcanic eruption can create the colors Edvard Munch painted. In the sky that is, it doesn't explain the red sun ...
This morning I awoke with the aromatic wood burning smell in my nostrils and remembered last night's red sun and that I've seen something similar in Los Angeles about 35 years ago. Forest fires, I realized, it's summer time and the woods are ablaze. Dreadful, dreadful fires. A good reason to scream.
Which artwork expresses how you feel at times?
This work by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License