Friday, August 15, 2008

Moments of rapture

I have just spent 20 minutes walking home from a bar. Perhaps a little more; it took longer than it should have done. I have a crick in my neck. I have been gazing up at the sky the whole time.

Did they finally stumble upon the perfect settings for that darned weather-control machine? Maybe.

It is pleasantly warm, unhumid, with a light breeze. And the sky is...... what can I say? I don't think I've ever seen such a dazzlingly clear sky in Beijing before, by day or by night. The stars aren't showing in their thousands or millions, but there are certainly many dozens of them visible, and a few of them fiercely bright. What's more, there's so much ambient light (mostly from the brilliant, blinding almost-full moon, but also, I suspect, partly from the much increased street lighting and floodlighting around the city at the moment) that the sky actually has colour: it's a deep blue rather than black, tapering to violet as it curves towards the horizon; and the torn cotton wool clouds have a hint of pink about them.

It's a gorgeous, gorgeous night. Words are inadequate. You have to be here. (And, perhaps, mildly pissed or stoned. Oh yeah, and you have to have endured weeks, months, years of the sky being nothing but a gauzy phantom to appreciate the contrast.)


Anonymous said...

Lovely day, beautiful night.

Anonymous said...

Indeed...we left dinner last night and I couldn't help but exclaim..."Holy Sh*t, I see a star!" Can't remember the last time I saw actual astronomic phenomena from inside the second ring road.

By the by, for you late risers, this morning is also shaping up to be a VERY nice day.

Anonymous said...

I was in fact up all night (which was possibly over doing it rather) but well, if ones got to stay up all night that was the night to do it.

It was a clear and delicate dawn.