Tonight, this is what is around the place where I live. Two minutes’ walk brings me to the edge of town. The road is cold. The council have soothed it with something, so it’s smooth, like clay. That’s ok.
The paddocks have been sown; they are green and exact. This is what green is doing; next year’s work.
The hills are sharp and cold; the ridges iced with rock and trees poked in the top, sharp as glass. The windmill is doing absolutely nothing. The hill in front of me balances a bowl of light in its throat. This is the sun setting. The clouds are streaked and stained with tired gold.
Our grapevine holds its yellow, but it’ll subside soon.
I wrote this in December 2015, when the windows were completed, but I had no image of the glass taken in the evening.
“Linden has given me some squares of glass for Christmas. These will be fitted into and around my front door which receives a drench of light every afternoon. I imagine a cathedral, but really this is just my front door. I had my colours organised, but the glass artist changed them because he said my colours were not going to obey me. He said that colours quarrel. My dark rich colours would go black and sulk.
He changed my panes to rose, champagne, sage green, ice and an invisible gold. I complained that now there was no colour. And there wasn’t. He said there would be, that now the colours would cooperate and allow each other a fair go in the light, and that they would change as the light changed and show all of their personalities. My dark colours would just turn their backs because didn’t have enough space.
I said I didn’t know. He replied that it was understandable, everyone is busy. But there is nothing so busy with its own concerns as a piece of stained glass. Each piece of glass thinks it’s right. They needed to be treated subtly and with cunning to get them to all do what you want without them knowing.
Well, my glass panels are up and fat with warmth and light – and they are beautiful; the artist, with his dreadlocks and tools and dusty workshop was absolutely right. In the morning they are quiet and smooth and rich, in the evening they are hilarious, and show blue and purple even though this is impossible.”