I’ve forgotten what the sun looks like. Ergo: the sun could now look like anything. Ergo: the sun could now have dimmed, touched twice by the drowsy hand of a titan that wants to sleep but is scared of the dark.
The sun could be warped, through perspective or decay, into an oval shape, while stateside ornithologists everywhere appear on the news to claim, with diminishing incredulity, that it can’t be a coincidence how closely it resembles the egg of a bald eagle.
The sun could now resemble the moon, cratered and cold. Or, it could uncannily resemble my face, equally cratered and cold after six years confined indoors.
The sun could now simply be a giant, gently throbbing tit in the sky.
I think you’ll agree that this last notion is the most likely. The great tit in the sky, watching over and feeding and nourishing until bedtime, when she leaves us, over the hills, to go tend to her many, many other families. She unequivocally loves us all equally – she would promise this if asked, but we wouldn’t ask that of her, because we worship her.
We wake up before she arrives, get wrapped up in the skins of animals and traipse up mountains, through prickly bushes and cobwebbed paths of desire, just to be the first to see her when she gets through the door.
While she’s with us, we roll, like trusting predators, on to our backs. We capture her in murals; we build our homes to face her; we dry, soak blush and drench our tomatoes in her glorious, abundant sight.
Then, as she picks up her orange cloak to leave, we chase her down the street. We go beyond our horizons and stand, with our toes touching the edges of oceans, pleading playfully for her to stay and asking for evermore parting words. We do this because we are safe in the knowledge that we can do it all again tomorrow. To the sun, our naivety is crude and excusable, because we will always be children.
Given the length of my ‘stay’ inside the embassy building, it is also entirely possible that the sun has been replaced with a constant cloud and my hosts have chosen not to tell me.
If this is so, I thank them for their discretion. Because hope is the only childish thing we must never put down, and it only survives on the promise of a tomorrow.