The Sun never came out today

8:30 AM

Whose earth is this, I do not know,
his house … it must be all aglow!
He will not see me stopping here
to watch the ashes fall like snow,

My little kitty’s filled with dread,
and hides all day beneath the bed.
The sun is hidden in the sky,
he is certain we all must die.

(apologies to Robert Frost)

It’s a wee bit strange outside today but I’m not complaining for two reasons: First, thousands of people in the western states are currently fleeing out-of- control wildfires.  Second, I just watched one of those movies that makes you doubt whether you could stand up against tyranny.  Especially if you stand alone and are ridiculed by everyone around you.

Around noon

The movie was A Hidden Life.  The actors in the film are all virtually unknown (at least to American audiences) but the director was Terrence Malick who is known for filming raw dramas in idyllic locations.  In this case, the mountains of Austria.  The plot is simple.  Germany is conscripting Austrian men to serve the Third Reich.  The hero refuses to comply which means death.  He believes the Nazis are evil and that God commands him to resist evil.  

Do you hear those [church] bells? They’re melting them. For bullets.

However, the real agony for the hero is being attacked by the people of his close-knit village who, out of fear or convenience, have decided not to see the truth. Their contempt for the truth-seer extends to his family who are robbed, spat at, physically attacked, and left on their own when they desperately need help. However, after he dies they suddenly awake. It’s as though the town has been cleansed by his sacrifice. This quote at the end seems to affirm that analysis:

“..for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” 

George Eliot

To end on a light note, on my iPhone tonight under Trending Stories: “Man stranded in a lake saved by floating Tiki bar of priests claims ‘Sign of God.'” What the hell do you think that means?

28 thoughts on “The Sun never came out today

      1. Glad to hear the sky’s no longer orange and hoping the air quality improves soon. Remember when everyone complained about 2016 being the worst year ever because so many celebrities died? Well, as bad as that was, it didn’t hold a candle to 2020.

        Will try to see A Hidden Life soon. I’ve never seen Days of Heaven either, so maybe I’ll have a private Malick film festival in the living room.

        Sending a hug, Jan.

  1. Those skies look very ominous, I am praying for you all still. Yes the climate change must be addressed…Oh! hang on your esteemed leader is still in denial.
    Please take care , I am not surprised the cat is hiding .
    By the way how is the Tryphid?
    I am not sure what a floating Tiki Bar is so I looked it up and found the story! It happened 11th of August! The guy and his family stranded on their upturned kayak were rescued by a floating Tiki Bar full of priests. Even stranger the guy is a recovering alcoholic, seven years dry. …There has to be a message there , it’s beyond me. Be safe 💜

  2. Loved this!  Thanks for sending it to me. I am helping out with Ender’s remote learning in Dixon three mornings a week (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday).  Up at 4 am; on the road by 6 am.  It was a little rough last week but I am beginning to adapt to the new schedule.   I think of Nancy often.  I saved a copy of a letter I sent to her after she called to let me know she was dying.  I keep the letter in my morning journal.  I am surprised how much the letter comforts me. I love that you are working with Carol with formatting/publishing her stories.   Hope this morning email finds you and Joel well…. and that a special, unexpected moment brings both of you a great belly laugh! Love,Mary Alice

    1. That sounds rough Mary Alice – especially considering all the smoke and having to keep kids indoors. I’m happy to help Carol – she’s put a lot of work into those stories and they should be published.

  3. You did a good job here, Jan, of capturing the deep eeriness of that day. I, too, was living that day under the same orange sky. Your words, quotes, movie scenes and photos all bring forward the big picture of living under a sun that glows in sickness from smoke, air that is choked with toxins, and rain that is not water but ash. We did not know what to expect the next day, but fortunately it was not as orange. We continue to wait and hope, my friend, for those fires to end.

  4. That was such an eerie day – and yet the AQ is worse now. I’m trying to find an air purifier (price tripled on the one that was available)…but as you say our problems are nothing compared to those who have become refugees.

    1. Doesn’t your AC work as an air filter? Our new furnace has a hepa filter and so if things got worse we were just going to turn on the air circulator (fan). Luckily it hasn’t gotten too bad inside the house. But … as they keep saying, it’s only the beginning.

  5. Wow! The sky in your photos have a terrifying feel, but also a sense of wonder. Nature is an undeniable force indeed.

  6. The odd thing for me is that I like seeing an orange sky. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it looks pretty to me. Not that the reason for it is good, but I like the color orange, I guess.

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