for the blue hour



Last night after all the children were put to bed, 4 of them tucked under light sheets, some of us went down for a late swim. Two other young women at the lake, their phone set to Dylan, his shaggy voice singing “Don’t think twice, it’s all right” as we entered the cool water. The sunset duck-egg blue and peach, grey, a child’s fingernail of moon on the horizon. We were shoulder-deep in the lake, talking, laughing, darkness pushing away the blue, the peach, though the moon shone like a tiny golden light. Don’t think twice.


Two hours after midnight, John and I quietly went out to the deck off our bedroom to watch for the Perseids. Nothing in the north, though the Milky Way spilled down the sky, Cassiopeia bright on her starry throne. And then, one, two, three, meteors in their splendid last moment, enough to wish on, though we didn’t. And the cat Winter, delighted to find us out in his element, wound himself around our legs. When we came back to bed, John said, I feel sort of sad, and I knew what he meant. I felt it too. The house full of people we love, the brevity of it all, the table laid with the best plates and silver, a chocolate cake, the late swim, the old barbeque wheeled out from the woodshed, children at every turn, young ones and grown ones. Out in the night, stars falling, unseen by us, and the cat wondering where we’d gone.


Colour the little wall maps of the universe you are making. The sapphire colour for the spheres of the world. It would be useful not just to look at it, but to reflect on it in the soul. Deep inside your house you might set up a little room and mark it with these figures and colours. (Ficino, from Three Books on Life

10 thoughts on “for the blue hour”

  1. Somehow as I rejoice in your family reunion, I find myself feeling sad too. Or at least a bit melancholy, for the passing of time. Haunting, as always, Theresa.

    1. Sometimes I feel like we’re caught in time’s wrinkle…and yes, in the middle of the night, I do feel melancholy. And I don’t mind. Here for all the feels right now before winter (and 4th stage?) arrives.

  2. In other words: plenitude.

    When you wrote “Cassiopeia”, I remembered a few lines from Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch –

    ……as I floated on my back, trying to pick out constellations I knew in the confusing white spatter of stars: Lyra, Cassiopeia the queen, whiplash Scorpius with the twin stings in his tail, all the friendly childhood patterns that had twinkled me to sleep from the glow-in-the-dark planetarium stars on my bedroom ceiling back in New York. Now, transfigured – cold and glorious like deities with their disguises flung off – it was as if they’d flown through the roof and into the sky to assume their true, celestial homes.

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