The falling sun reflects onto the Sydney skyscrapers. The colour is a hot burnt orange, although the chill of autumn nights will soon rest upon the city. Darkness around them, they stand like towering torches. Their effect is hypnotic.
This is nature’s Vivid; day’s last light shed upon the man-made glass. Smiling, I watch the light show unfold from my bedroom windows.
Since New York’s skyline became synonymous with terror, I have cherished every dip, peak and oddity of Sydney’s skyline.
From my perch, I can roughly place where our aeroplanes descend and ascend, but the low-lying airport itself is hidden behind green tree tops.
In the foreground, a gigantic yellow frame shuffles shipping containers at a local container terminal, which seems to be nocturnal in its operation.
This is the city whose skyline prompts me to reflect, gain perspective and mute the day’s minutia.
To the north, immediately after the CBD, I see a red beacon flashing to a slow cadence. It is the top of the Harbour Bridge. Throughout my years in this house, the constant fade in and fade out has always drawn my eye. While up-close tourists shoot the bridge from a variety of angles, this is my personal angle from afar, too meaningful to photograph.
Further north, the glowing whites and reds of Chatswood spike into the sky. They mark the end of high-rise and the beginnings of residential Sydney.
As my eye follows the contours of red-roofed residences, it stops at Sydney Olympic Park.
The stadium. Now surrounded by corporate headquarters and people who make their homes in towers, I remember when the site held a flame 17 years ago.
Not from my perch, but facing north on a city-bound train, I caught a glimpse of it. As the train gathered momentum, through the gaps in houses and buildings I saw the Olympic flame. In some ways, I think it saw me too.
It was contained in a cauldron elevated at the back of the stadium. That flame reached past the cameras, the crowd and the sports people to imprint on me a sense of awe. It was as if a long arm of fire locked onto me from afar and as it neared, a single outstretched finger touched my chest.
I gazed at it helplessly, as if it owned me. To this day, I haven’t had such an intense feeling.
The same burnt orange of that flame now lifts to the top of the city’s buildings as the sun retreats to warm another hemisphere. Here I stand, an autumn chill in the air, offering the minutia of my life to Sydney’s skyline once again.