My grandfather, 2010
October 29, 2020

Wind

A friend in New Orleans said the power might be out for several days after last night’s hurricane, the fifth to hit Louisiana this year. Another record broken. Its unexpectedly powerful winds were amplified by an ice storm in Oklahoma, which was fueled by a firestorm in California. Fire, ice, and wind from coast to coast, as if generated by the national tension as a pandemic rages and an election approaches.

Here in New York, it’s damp and gloomy. Deep autumn is finally here. I went for a rainy run, pausing on an empty street to admire how the skyscrapers vanished in the fog. The grey light and spectral towers reminded me of an afternoon in Michigan, maybe ten years ago. It was the last time I saw my grandfather.

I picked him up from the nursing home to see the old sights, the family plot at the cemetery and the little harbor where the Reeves once had a fishery. We drove through the flat soybean fields that stretched toward Saginaw Bay, a blank line of road I’d known since childhood. But now wind turbines straddled the fields, alien sculptures that left me feeling futuristic and a little uneasy. My grandfather often watched them from the window of his nursing home. “Sometimes I think they are graceful like ballerinas,” he said as we drove. “Other times, I think they are wicked.”

I often think about this unexpected moment of lyricism from my grandfather, and how wildly our perception can change depending on our mood or maybe just a shift in the light.


Autechre – Windwind

Incunabula | Warp, 1993 | Bandcamp
Each night in 2020 I'm writing a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I want to etch these days into my memory before I forget them. Before the world changes completely.
%d bloggers like this: