Friday, October 29, 2010

Cape Comorin, South India, March 1952 (Paul Bowles)


     Last night I awoke and opened my eyes.  There was no moon; it was still dark, but the light of a star was shining into my face through the open window, from a point high above the Arabian Sea.  I sat up, and gazed at it.  The light it cast seemed as bright as that of the moon in northern countries; coming through the window, it made its rectangle on the opposite wall, broken by the shadow of my silhouetted head. I held up my hand and moved the fingers, and their shadow too was definite.  There were no other stars visible in that part of the sky; this one blinded them all.  It was about an hour before daybreak, which comes shortly after six, and there was not a breath of air.  On such still nights the waves breaking on the nearby shore sound like great, deep explosions going on at some distant place.  There is the boom, which can be felt as well as heard and which ends with a sharp rattle and hiss, then a long period of complete silence, and finally, when it seems that there will be no more sound, another sudden boom.  The crows begin to scream and chatter while the darkness is still complete.

     The town, like the others here in the extreme south, gives the impression of being made of dust.

-- From Notes Mailed At Nagercoil


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