January 25, 2015
A couple of weeks ago, I was walking down Columbia Road just around dusk. All day, it had been cold and bleak. But then right before sunset, the sun had finally gotten free of the clouds, and the rays that broke through were casting a rusty gold light onto the storefronts. Everything looked and felt fresh.
I was passing the Potter’s House, and I could see through the now-uncovered windows that a handful of workers were staying later than usual. One man was near the top of a very tall ladder, stretching his arms overhead to install a new spotlight, which was lit up even as he was working on it, and casting a very bright but wavering light. At the foot of the ladder, another workman was holding the ladder steady: he himself seemed the epitome of steadiness. Off to the left, in the semi-darkness outside the circle of the spotlight, two men were cleaning up from the day’s construction activity, one moving boxes, the other sweeping. To the right, brightly lit, were recently installed bookcases, now covered with paper to keep them undamaged. From time to time, the spotlight pointed out into the street, as if signaling something to folks on the sidewalk on the far side of the street.