a(nother) sliema sunset

  journal entry from 8/06/13

sunsets from this maltese balcony are some sort of masterpiece. watching them has become a ritual, which I take sacred steps to face this time of day.

i never know it’s starting until a golden spotlight shines through the open floor-to-ceiling windows of the living room, letting me know that molten globe is low enough in the sky to start spilling colors on the horizon. 

it shines directly inward, as if to call me out from the dimly lit space I’ve been inhabiting all day---the quiet place that's diligently hidden me from the stifling afternoon heat. when the sun summons me, I come out into the elements and greet it---totally entranced.

it starts the process of sinking into the limestone of the hillside directly across from me, on the other side of this deep harbor i face. the ripples on the surface of the water shine gold below bobbing sailboats, which look like mere toys from this 9th story railing. 

i relish in the sight of the softening hues and the tickle of a gradually cooling breeze. whisping grasses beside me cast shadows on the sunset-tinted wall. and the sun paints a stream of rosy haze over the buildings below it, like a pink filter over all the spots that will soon turn very dark.

lower, it goes, and saturates as it melts onto the horizon. i scoot my chair up to the railing, for a better view of all that is quickly changing. the people in the swimming area below are getting some last splashes in before darkness consumes the water and takes away its transparency, the waters soon becoming one never-ending mass of unknown.

lower, it goes, and tiny lights begin to gleam throughout st juliens. the sky is still the bluest of blues directly above, but gradually lightens into a gradient that turns pink. the pink blends with purple and lines the horizon as far as I can see. and the purple blends into the darkening blues of the ocean. a darkness by depth, that never ends.

lower, it goes, and sets all the houses on the hillside aflame. i can't tear my third eye away. once it touches the horizon, the sinking accelerates. and then, in a moment, it’s gone. and all that’s left is its residual half hemisphere of color, to let us know it's still somewhere. the hillside is hiding it, holding it, harnessing its incredible warmth.

and then all the lights of malta turn on, like the hillside that consumed the sun disbursed its energy all over this modest little country. and the lights, they'll gleam, until the sun shows up again, on the other side of the island.