New York City, January 14, 2018

★★★ The six-year-old kept putting on his knit Batman hat, the one with the eyes and ears, against the chill in the pew. The light and air were so clear that there was little optical shimmer around the sharpened edges of things. All that could be seen on downtown-facing crosswalk signal was an unreadable square of reflected light. A line of rigging from a tower top to a sidewalk scaffold stood as bright and salient as lettering on a commercial sign. A bent twig and its shadow rolled over in the wind on the pavement with a twitching movement like a stricken earthworm. The only remotely cloudlike thing to be found anywhere was the light in the dense bare twigs of the trees.