The sun, that morning, after the plagues, after the warthogs ran thundering across the earth, after D.C. was nothing but garbage heaps like those in Mumbai, the sun arose ever so slightly and like a giant eyelid, half shut, wrinkled, an old man’s eyelid, lidded, witness to centuries of events beyond this era of Wars and Lady Gaga, and what’s Justin Bieber doing, and the DOW, and people in hollow corridors of no sun along Wall Street, falling, falling, falling.
The sun tried, Lord knows it tried. First there was that usual oomph, which if you are the sun is no problem at all. Bump. The sun surveyed its round and faded yellow form, and thought what happened to my springs?
Another try—to the victor goes—no victor, just a vast empty silence, and the sun with weak knees who just couldn’t get it up any more, and some say the sun set in the East, but to tell you the truth the sun normally sets in the West, and this particular sun just walked away and said, `To hell with Western Civilization. To hell with wars over religions. I’m putting in a request with the Big Guy for a transfer.”
And so gradually entropy happened, ivy and rats climbed skyscrapers in New York with wild abandon. Occasionally a sylph-like shadow of a human trolled the ground, looking like an ant. Then silence.
Then degeneration, followed by regeneration, and in a billion years, a frog croaked. A bird tweeted. A leaf rustled, and The Big Guy put in a junior-type of sun, one on job probation. So the story goes, the sun did set in the east, but this new sun may help us do better. The earth had been chastened.
Copyright © 2013 Esther Bradley-DeTally
I teach four six-week classes on writing. My background training is from Oakley Hall, who was majestic novelist and teacher and co-director of Squaw Valley Workshop, and also from Jack Grapes, whose name is whistled in freeway corridors like a slick wind, a pied piper of a writing teacher. Both of these men earn my verbal praise every day. I have traveled from Moscow to Siberia, and to Ukraine, and then returned with my husband to live in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and Minsk, Belarus. I studied writing methods at UCIrvine, and also took several courses under a superb journalist, Joe Bell.
I teach a class on Tuesdays at The Women’s Room, a place that leaps with great words and giant hearts. The women are either volunteers, homeless or in transition, and it is a great place of support.
On Monday nights, I teach in the basement of Ten Thousand Villages, near California and Lake, from 4:30-6 p.m., for donation. That, plus a few on-line gigs and tutoring gig, plus Baha’i activities and commitment to racial justice, keeps me busy. I have a novel in the second draft process.
Esther has written two books, Without a Net: A Sojourn in Russia and You Carry the Heavy Stuff. Her blog can be found at SorryGnat.wordpress.com.