Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Seeing Beyond the Sunset

The other day, I was riding my bike.  I turned down a path lined with old trees; I'm not quite sure what type they were, but since trees here typically shed leaves all year round, the gravel was lined with brown.

I followed the road up a little bit and around a newly built house.  As I rounded the house, I came upon an intersection, and beyond the intersection there was a grassy area.

The sun was beginning to set, and just as I reached that place, it shot yellow beams all over the grass and hung in the air like mist.  It was so golden and dreamlike that I stopped my bike and gazed at it for a good minute.  And for whatever reason, my mind turned to one of my stories; and I thought about the vision I had seen in my mind's eye, of the Dreamtreader sailing through a golden sky—a sky just like that sea mist that had drifted in to sit on the grass.

Then I went on.

Today it happened again, though not the same way.  The sun was in the process of setting, and I was on the road as it passed by the beach.  I halted the bike and watched the sun set; when the last bit of burning yellow had left the ocean horizon, I continued on my ride.

But the sunset continued on, while my back was turned.  When I turned round again to head back home, I turned my gaze to the skies and saw the sunlight, while gone from my vision, still playing in the clouds and little thunderheads off to the east.  The sky was awash in pastels, golds and oranges and dusky light reds.

It led like a trail to the south; and then it halted in a swirl of pink and gold that mixed with the liquid navy sky, and all of it seemed dusky, like God had added a bit of cream and grey to the mix.

At the center of this, the full moon was rising.  It was oddly inviting, like a cup of warm milk.  It was at the center of this swirl, the milky white contrasting with the dark blue and pink-white-orange clouds.  It made you feel like something was happening; somebody was sailing up there in the colors, stirring them up and tasting the moon.

And again, I thought of my story, Dreamtreader.  I wondered if it was the Dreamtreader sailing up there; and if it wasn't, that it should be.  It felt like the sunset had been made for my story; that the golden beams I had seen on the grass were the same golden beams I had seen in the clouds and on the sails of a sky ship.

That little bit of sunset stuck in my heart.  It gave the story gravity and reality.  Because if I could see that vision in the sunset, perhaps others could see it too.  Perhaps other people had felt that same feeling when they stare up at the pastel clouds; perhaps other people feel like there is something alive in the dying of the sun.

There are days when I wonder.


  1. This is such a lovely post, Jake! The imagery is so comforting - it reads super nice; I almost feel like I could have been there at the moment.

  2. Silly me
    I was wishing for pictures, but then I realised that I did not even need them. Excellent descriptions!
    I would like to hear more of this Dreamtreader, it sounds fascinating.

  3. Squeaks: thank you! It imitated the style of Dreamtreader on purpose; I tried to describe as vividly as possible.

    Anonymous: I looked for some pictures that I could use, but I couldn't find any in time to post it.

    Dreamtreader is my favorite of my short stories, and probably the second favorite of all the stories I've ever written. I've got a soft spot in my heart for it; it's a tragic steampunk fairy-tale. And as odd as that genre might sound, I think it works pretty well - I had a lot of fun writing it, anyway.

    Path-a-thing: I figured you would. :)