Lux Aetherium

On the heels of rage and frustration, I begin to feel something akin to indifference, and I wondered if it was the drugs kicking in or a genuine shift in my emotional state. Everywhere I went that morning, the light was beyond ethereal. Driving Garrett down Fairview on the way to daycare, it was as if a giant black cloud we’re sitting directly over our head, yet constantly out of sight. Almost zero overhead light, the cartoon kid kicking a can down the road with a storm cloud following just above. It was much darker than it should have been, since Spring made it’s appearance in our corner of the world and it had started to grow lighter earlier. The horizon, where the foothills met clouds a shade darker than the ones I imagined were over our heads, I saw a thin blade of pale, silver-blue light, like the light of Earendil or maybe a lightning bolt in a summer storm. Eerie and beautiful.


After coming home, solemnly packing my lunch for the day, spreading mustard on the sandwich leftover from my child’s dinner the night before, which he mangled from all sides with his Tic-Tac tiny teeth and in his impression of a dinosaur (“Dinaurs”), that rage was all-consuming.

As I made my way from Boise to Caldwell, a familiar sight greeted me. The horizon in front of me was engulfed with black clouds. You couldn’t discern where earth met sky. A quick glance in my rear view mirror, in the direction of Boise, looked like heading towards Zion or Valhalla. The first faint glimmerings of sunrise on the edge of the world threatening to defeat what little silver cloud cover remained and engulf the world in beautiful, warm, orange light. I trudged onward to Caldwell, as if toward Mount Doom, charging toward the cliffs at a constant 72 mph. I believed that work was going to be an impossible undertaking that day, and, I suppose, if mind-over-matter truly is a thing, then it was going to be one hell of a day.

Frustration creeping back in, mitigated again by apathy. What’s the point? Why struggle? Accept it.

As I continued toward Caldwell, the light was beyond surreal. While I stared at that wall of black clouds, beyond which lay work and my ultimate destination, the space above me was impossibly lit. It appeared as if that same pale, silver-blue light was somehow directly above me, constantly out of sight. I felt as if I was on some kind of a dimly lit stage surrounded almost entirely by dark curtains, while the black wall in front of me simply looked like my concept of the afterlife. Darkness, nothingness, even the absence of apathy. The absence even of absence. Thin, intermittent drops turned into fat, steady drops, obscuring my vision as my old, mismatched wipers tried desperately to clear the windshield, spreading the water briefly in the attitude of a blood spatter.


I exited my car and stepped into the downpour. That grey light and those pregnant, persistent drops reminded me so much of home, of Oregon and Washington and the Pacific Northwest. This weather almost always makes me think of my childhood, an ever-present layer of mist and moss and slick on the ground. It makes it’s way into your soul or aura or whatever. I’ve long felt that mine (my whatever, that is) is blue and green, as a result. I left the dim light of morning and entered the stark white of fluorescent lights.

I knew I’d put it out of my mind. Meet the day strong, in denial, like I was taught, like we teach our kids.



4 thoughts on “Lux Aetherium”

  1. I agree with your sole commentist-it on the suburb part. Funny, we had thunder/lightning like that near Seattle today, too. Good on the existentialist, why-bother, self-conflict crisis riff.


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