The Ides of March

Today is a grey day. Soft, yellow-white, sometimes purplish, sometimes bluish clouds have lain over the City since morning. It's warm and humid but not uncomfortably so. Against the grey the green of the gum leaves, of the bottle brush, the hibiscus, the palms, takes on a softness, a roundness it doesn't have under the hammer of the sun. Sounds too are blurred, they have an aureole perhaps, the magpie's chortle seems muted, the crows fark off elsewhere with their abrasive cries, the exemplar becomes the spotted dove on the red roof tiles that also look softer, more replete. And yet there is also a sense of anticipation in the air, and not just of the rain which may or may not come later and, if it does, will fall softly, like an overflow of the clouds: tonight is also a full moon. What we—I include the trees, the birds—anticipate isn't known to me and maybe not to any of us. Completion of a cycle perhaps? Culmination of a trait? A discharge of energy that will let us sleep in a way we haven't done for a while? Or—the new? For myself, I no longer know for sure what the shape of the new would be, having spent so long imagining the unimaginable: when (if) it comes it will look either just like something I've already entertained or it will be what I have never known, never seen, never even contemplated. It isn't without a thrill of fear that I say I hope it is the latter; while another part of me assumes, not necessarily sadly or with resignation, the impossibility that either my hope or my fear will be answered. Meanwhile the cloudy softness lours ever closer as evening draws on; and the currawong's whistle has an exploratory edge or air, a speculative accent, a perhaps immemorial curiosity.

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