Like most people, my plans have had to change a little over the last few months. I had hoped to be accompanied by various like minded souls on my travels around the river. Instead I have had to opt for isolation and introspection rather than conversation. One day maybe that will change. I have not been well of late but of course I remain untested as we cannot seem to do that properly in this country. May 1st has long been a date seared into the Meanderthal calendar. An early start and a walk to local beauty spot where there will be friends and dancing. Where we will join with Jack In The Green to conjure the summer. Obviously that was impossible this year. So I went there unwell and alone, (observing social distancing rules,) and I was in bed for 4 days afterwards. But the summer is coming and I played my part…
… There are officially three phases to the rising of the sun. Astronomical Dawn occurs when the geometric centre of the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon. It is the first leavening of the absolute darkness that hid me and so much else as I left the house on past May Days and made my way through The Heights. The older terraced buildings at the bottom end of Palmerston Road are lent a certain grandeur by the weak streetlighting placed at eave level, a gilding that they do not possess in daylight. The golden glow of more hopeful times 120 years past.
I am late away today as there is nobody to meet and no event to join with. It is probably past the point of Nautical Dawn (12 degrees below the horizon), where there are still stars for old navigators to sail by. Civil dawn (6 degrees below the horizon) is giving way to actual sunrise. The light is growing in the crack between a flat grey duvet of cloud and the slate rooftops giving the street a faint corona if you like. Like the goddess Isis that word will never be used again for such elemental ekphrasis without some qualification, or maybe not be used at all. It will never polish up now.
Extract from work in progress – Meanderthal, May Day 2020.