Browns, burnt reds, creamy golden whites – the colours of the closed eye. I’m on my back and K is beside me, lying on a bed of pine needles and crunchy dried leaves. I open them as a black beetle bustles past a bottle of sunblock at the base of a tree trunk. Layers of world; our soft bed a lifetime of confines and cavities for it to clamber over and through.
It doesn’t know the world above it that we inhabit – the regularly spaced trees like columns in a brown basilica. The air is cool, streaked with rays of sunlight and dusted with buzzing insects. Above us, if I raise my head and look sideways, a different space – brighter and higher; a world of virile greens, the blue of the sky breaking through here and there.
If I lay my head back down on the forest floor I can look up at and somehow out onto yet another space. A vast and ferociously lit universe. The very tips of the trees and above them the glaring void. The extremity of the light, the sheer difference in the strength of it as it falls on things up there bathes them in the same strangeness things have when seen underwater. It is a quiet world today – none of the usual air-and-leaf laments; “windstill”, K calls it. More