Sheens of Beauty

Auk 1

This afternoon, as the rain stopped, Aki and I meandered around the University’s Auk Lake campus. It is quiet. All the action takes place in the library. We carry out the usual division of labor. Aki pees, and sniffs messages left by other dogs or greets the odd student on a study break. I take pictures, mostly of the eyes carved in totem poles.

Auk When the marine layer breaks open to reveal the blue sky that I had lost hope of seeing again, we head down to the lake and find thin sheens of petroleum mimicking the northern lights. This faux aurora borealis doesn’t dance like the sky bound one until Aki walks onto a floating dock and sets off surface ripples with every step. I snap away at the lake reflections of black spruce, blue sky, and magenta and green oil sheen. Each reflection would be beautiful in cloud whites, blues and blacks but is made more stunning by the shimmering pollutants. I’ve been here before: admiring California sunsets enhanced by smog, Canadian sunrises with deep reds popping against black forest fire smoke. Each time I wonder how corruption can produce fallouts of such beauty.

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