Sky

Diary, Thursday 21 December 1995 : Paul and Adline are here. Went up to Ivorís last night to watch the sunset. We arrived at about five when the sun was still quite high, flushing thorugh the clouds and draining into the harbour. It was hazy, soon the sun went from invisibly bright yellow to a woolly orange. The colour of the water changed to a turquoise mercury, and the profile of the hills towards the west became more pronounced differentiating each layer of distance and size by a shade of grey-blue.

 

The Sky

Flying from Miami or Gatwick to Kingston. The sky is different. Dramatic. Clouds swirl. They are solid, opaque and threatening, the sun is setting. It is a dangerous sky, turbulent. It spells doom. It has done this every time I have flown to and from Miami, I no longer reaaly believe its message.

 

Standing on Millsborough crescent overlooking Kingston towards the South West: The sky is large, huge. The sun is setting over the western red hills of Jamaica. The sun is behind an orange cloud. The under side of the clouds are inky grey. Some are peach coloured and few a sickly pink: like luminescent fruit punch from a can. Rays of sunlight radiate in powerful beams from behind the cloud. God is on his throne. The vast plain of the Caymanas estate leading to Spanish town is mostly in the shade of the cloud. The blue-grey of the hills and the blue green of the valley come alive with lakes of soft light. Plumes of smoke from fires burning rubbish have a remarkably peaceful effect. They are as the smoke from a pipe. Here and there lights are burning.

 

Vermeerís view of delft, is so special because of the domestic depth he manages to suggest in the canvass by showing how the light and shade are divided by the clouds and distrbuted over the roofs of the small city.

 

As the headlands of Jamaica recede into the distance and the gentle hills layer themselves into the gentle graphlines of a dying heartpatient coloured indigo blue and grey. There is a divine presence in this landscape. A glorious presence. But it is not visible. The sky is not a god. It is not even a messenger. It is every day the same, every day so spectacular as to have been rendered silent by habit.