The sky is not streaked. It is gently variegated with the glowing hues of sunset. Red on the bottom fighting to keep its place in the sky. Orange pressing down with vigor. Pink above them, suing for peace as evening calm sets in. A stripe of green slips in to put a cold stop to the warmth of the day. Finally, the glorious royal blue which is overtaking all as it grows richer every minute. It is the moment after the sun has dipped below the horizon but there are still a solid ten minutes in which to watch the colors shift and mutate into the gentle shades of night.
The silhouette of the chapel dome stands just right of the center of this perfect backdrop. Lines and details are no longer visible, it is a flat dark shape but not a shadow. Rather, its majesty is more imposing now as a black mass against a feisty, polychromic sunset than it is as a white emblem against the bright blue sky. There are two more steeple silhouettes echoing to the right of this structure and a field of black roofs falling off the edge of the picture. Moving to the left of the somber steeples is the massive tower crane looming over the city. The column of metal beams and cords and hooks scraped meticulously out of the painted sky. Orange, pink, green, blue.
Below, the streets glitter. In contrast to the still and silent sky, the headlights bustle here and there. Not in an aimless helter-skelter but with method. Criss-cross, stop and go, everything has its place; if one were to fall out of line, chaos would reign. Yet, somehow, the system stays in play like a living net of light, finely woven without a snag or tear. The lights move into and out from the softening sunset above. Pink, green, blue.
Above the streets and steeples and crane and dome there is still one more item of interest, probably more captivating than all the rest. Perched amidst the blue in the top left corner of the image is a peaceful spider. It is blacker and more substantial than the shapes of the dome and crane. It sits perfectly still and yet without moving leaps into the vision and wrenches the scene more painfully than the scraping crane. The lively colors and the majestic silhouettes and glittering lights are all breathtaking, but the spider ruthlessly steals whatever breath is left, wrenching the stomach and leaving the heart throbbing unnecessarily. Look away, return to the fading sky. Green, blue.
It’s disturbing, but it is somehow more riveting than all the rest and the picture is no longer complete without it. Galling yet beautiful in its perfect symmetry; four sprawling legs framing either side of a bulbous body, crowning the small round head. So perfect and so utterly appalling. Why is it repulsive? Shall it be ignored? The sunset was so beautiful and stirring; now, the image is overmastered by a minute, hairy, eight-legged creature nesting in the corner of my window. Yet somehow, the warm glow of the sunset is not complete without the shiver down my spine from a harmless arachnid. Now, one sunset would have been swallowed by another beautiful moment tomorrow remains imprinted in my mind as the last light dies into the ever deepening blue.