“Some of us turn off the lights and we live
in the moonlight shooting by,
some of us scare ourselves to death in the dark
to be where the angels fly.”
Back towards the mountain, this time with a zoom lens, the self imposed embargo upon such things lifted in the hope of mountain tones off in the distance. But it's too hazy, the city beneath caught in opaque air, hills to the north fading beneath the weight of cloud approaching, a sense of rain upon the breeze. A different route today, a path towards a small Buddhist shrine, a quiet place off the beaten track, one of my favourite places in the city just to sit quietly, forget the sprawl and the people which surround you. From the trail a small path descends and twists beneath huge boulders, winding through the camouflaged jungle, and finding that, today, a small group are gathered here. And there's a dog which waddles over and howls at me, finding itself unable to bark, wagging its tail furiously and howling some more as it circles me. It's owner assures me that it won't bite but that's obvious already, it's a big friendly lump of a thing, and soon becomes a friend.
Continuing, I notice that my top is soaked through with sweat, that the humidity has almost solidified the air, the sky darkened. The path descends through a Taoist temple, the scented air, stilled, beneath a huge statue of some god or other, as I continue through; back towards the city feeling the first droplets of rain hit, accompanied by the peal of distant thunder and me singing “Chimes of freedom” beneath my mask, as you do...
The light transforms around me as I walk through the intensifying rain, the glowing grey skies flashing bright with unseen lightning, the western horizon now radiating an orange glow as the storm approaches. This light, intense and beautiful, dark and bright, glowing beneath the weight of clouds, rain now falling in cleansing sheets bouncing and dancing as they hit the earth, rebounding into the air in all of their splattering glory modifying my look from sweat stained to caught in the downpour, a more socially acceptable style statement..
Back in the flat, looking out from the window, 101 is almost gone, a ghostly finger rising in the darkening afternoon while the impenetrable torrents enclose the skyline, offering eyes only the dim possibilities of a city punctuated by flaring spikes accompanied by the distant rumbles of thunder across this place of concrete, reverberations expanding and amplifying the roaring, while the sound of the MRT beneath offers counterpoint to the sound of droplets upon glass the hiss of the rain outside as the city disappears into the storm while the thunder sounds and lightning flashes…
Checking the news I notice a singular article, coverage of the coronavirus relegated to a distant and secondary importance as I reread the headline, Bob Dylan has released a new song.
It's an odd thing the power of music, the power of words. A small nip of whisky to sip as I sit back and listen, laughing aloud at the first couplet and then falling into the spell of the words and sounds which are flowing through my headphones, listening again as outside the glowing skyline rises into the clouds, lights appearing as darkness falls and I sit with an empty glass...