We love our fences out here. When I was growing up, the neighbourhood I was in didn’t have very many fences. The properties had been built in the 50’s or 60’s so I can only assume the property sizes made the cost of fencing a little prohibitive. But there was also a kind of unspoken thing too. That somehow it wasn’t very neighbourly. Maybe that anyone who had to hide has something to hide, I don’t know.
But in this town we are all about the fences. I love my fence. I want to feel I am alone(ish) in my little yard without having to feel “on”. We need time to be unwatched to allow ourselves to be the truest versions of who we are.
Or maybe we just have something to hide.
I have a thing for wide-angle lens and brooding skies. I often look up at the sky and watch the clouds and light. I remember two instances in particular that I caught on my iPhone.
One was when the skies became very dark. You know the kind. When the day light takes on a strange greenish cast of foreboding. I stood out in the middle of my suburban street, and a hole of light opened up right over top of where I was standing in the center of the threatening skies. No one else was around. I stood there looking up in wonder as the gods, or aliens, or the mysterious miracle of the universe itself had decided to open up just for me. And I stood there in wonder under the light, in a kind of giddiness, wishing I could share the miracle of it with someone.
The other time was the morning after Halloween. We tend to go all out on Halloween with sound effects or music, stuffed bodies, sometimes film, and the smoke machine back-lit with blue light. We put out a bowl of candy with a sign on it that says, “Take two, we are watching!” There’s a piece of masonite that leans on the tree by the street with a big eye on it. More recently we have ghost heads hanging from a line floating the breeze. Sometimes parents need to talk their small child into approaching the house.
Then he and I go out with a mug full of something or other unnaturally warming, me dressed up in something I couldn’t get a way with ordinarily, and him in his ordinary self keeping an arm out to steady me in my heels and we go for a walk, sometimes with children running from house to house, and sometimes just us pretending that our children are somewhere near by. It’s been on two Halloween’s, I kid you not, that I have dropped and smashed my iPhone. Something about it seems especially slippery like a bar of soap on Halloween, out it goes in an arc to its collision to the ground.
One year one of my kids made an especially bloody mess of the pumpkin complete with a knife and some kind of red syrupy stuff, both humorous and somewhat alarming at the same time.
November 1st is All Saints Day. It was a morning after Halloween in that early November day was unnaturally warm and windy and the skies were dramatic with light and dark and movement as if to create an effect of blowing out the evils from the night before over the roof of my house. The skies, a vehicle, an instrument of the universe, might have messages for us.