Sunday, January 3, 2010

L'heure bleue

Right now out my east window it is what I think of as Paris Blue - the sky is in that moment of twilight the French call "the blue hour." Between light and dark, the hour lovers steal from their boundup days, utterly romantic. And if you were in Paris right now, you'd be there for this: to sit at the window of a cafe and be right there with this moment, with a color of sky you think is found nowhere else. You would catch your breath at the sight, as if you were spotting the green flash, or the dolphins playing. But the sky is the same everywhere, isn't it? It's us, we don't pay attention.

Twilight. It is catching up over here in my study, which looks west. Two lights, between lights. They are magical moments in the day. There is a point - it is here right now where I am - where there is absolutely no wind. The birds have to have eaten by now and be tucked in already. You've noticed they don't fly at night.

It is 5:50 January 3, and I am sitting in Columbus, Ohio facing west. The sky is still not quite Paris Blue here. There is still a characteristic line of salmon along the horizon, behind the bare trees. Only a couple of small lights are visible across the ravine; otherwise, it looks formidably treed out there. I wonder whether the charming effect of "L'heure bleu" is basically cosmopolitan, to be enjoyed only when you face civilization from snug restaurants and apartments in tall buildings, among the small, warm glow of city lights.


  1. Not at all.. it can even be more amazing away from civilization, when you're all alone with the vastness of nature and that magic moment of changing colors. It is absolute silence.. :D

  2. Having come from the rural midwest myself, we always referred to this time as "Deer o'clock"! "L'heure bleu" is indeed so much more romantic.