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Light in the Darkness - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Light in the Darkness
I just got back from one of the middle-of-the-night bicycle rides that have become an important part of my life over the past few months. It's cold now, even in Tucson, at 1am, but the brisk air is refreshing. The best part about riding lately, though, is that so many of the houses in the adjoining neighborhoods -- between Northern and Romero on one axis and between Magee and Hardy on the other -- have impressive holiday displays up and, what is more, frequently leave them on all night. Tonight I didn't see a single car, even when I was crossing La Cañada. Not a creature was stirring, either. But the lights were blazing regardless. Although it may be wasteful, I'm touched by the generosity of the gesture. There's something neat about the realization that I'm the only one enjoying the show.

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Current Location: 85704

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Comments
flw From: flw Date: December 14th, 2006 09:12 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

For You Alone

I love this post. I love things that happen late at night that I feel are only there for me. This has happened to me a lot in my life. Once, in Pittsburgh, we had this incredibly unusual series of temperature changes over the course of one night. A large amount of snow fell, and then a warm front came in. I was up for all of this... the warm front melted the top layer of snow, but very quickly, a bitterly cold mass moved in. The melted snow very quickly froze over the snow to form a sort of ice sheath over everything. It wasn't just the snow. The bare tree branches, the fireplugs, all the cars... everything was encrusted in ice. It looked exactly like in the movies when something is hit by a "freeze beam". The ice was so clear!

I knew at that time (like 5 in the morning) that no one... no one would get to see the town like this. Almost no one would be up, and among those who were awake, who would be crazy enough to go outside? Me! I walked all over town (Pittsburgh is weird... you can walk all over it. Every hill reveals a new neighborhood with its own character). As the sun came up, the ice started to melt very quickly. I didn't see another soul during my whole walk.

It was so wild! Every step was through a sheet of ice that popped when my foot hit it and then there was the crunch of the snow underneath. In some places the ice was thick enough to support my weight, spread out over a blanket of snow.

Yep, that was something else.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 14th, 2006 11:46 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: For You Alone

That sounds so awesome. I've long been a fan of middle-of-the-night experiences. I had a lot when I was an exchange student in Germany. Maybe I'll share one soon.

Oh, and I love your recent music entries. I've been too awash with grading etc. to do much commenting, but I really enjoy them.
flw From: flw Date: December 14th, 2006 11:57 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: For You Alone

Thanks, ace. tell you what, we'll trade, I will do some of your grading, and you will make comments on my livejournal. I feel positively certain that your students will understand the necessity of that.
flw From: flw Date: December 14th, 2006 09:14 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

True-csonan

Also, bicycling at night? I hope you are wearing black and have no reflectors on your bike. That would mean you are a true Tucsonan! By true Tucsonan I mean, "Someone who wants desperately to be hit by a car."
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 14th, 2006 11:45 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: True-csonan

Alas, no. I was wearing a bright orange hunter's fleece top and light gray sweatpants. Not only that, I have lights front and back and have attached extra reflectors to the back of my bike helmet. I'm not worthy!
elf_owl From: elf_owl Date: December 14th, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: True-csonan

Hooray for your being unworthy!
From: jsterne Date: December 14th, 2006 11:59 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

wait. . .

There's a street with an ñ in "Canada"? How did that happen? What's a Cañada?
elf_owl From: elf_owl Date: December 14th, 2006 12:54 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Last night I went to work at one of the group homes, and there were Christmas lights in the neightborhood. My direct neighbor and I have lights between our apartments, but I love to see the lights on houses. Not nearly as personal as your story, that was still a treat to me. Inside of the house, there's a Christmas tree with lights and there are some lighted decorations on the walls. I left them on all night, with all of the other lights off, so that when the kids got up to pee in the night or when they woke up in the morning, they'd have that experience of waking up to the warm happy Christmas lights. I remember loving that my mother would wake up earlier than me every morning and put on the Christmas tree lights, so that all during the time that our tree was up I'd have that experience. Being in a group home must be really tough, but maybe the kids will get a little bit of solace from the lights.
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