The snowy white parallelograms of the rooftops are brighter and harder than the sky, which recedes uncertainly behind them; gray, maybe, or blue -- the color of a heron standing in a lake. I have been walking on the packed snow, so I am sensitized to the minor variations in hue: you need to pay attention on the half-packed snow, because the clumped and battered surface is uneven, and the variations are hard to see; and yet it hardly matters, too, because it's still malleable, hardly real terrain at all. My footprints remade it as I went.
In places it has packed down tight and turned to gray ice, though: there will be more and more of that. Half of Portlanders don't shovel their walks: many of them don't even know you're supposed to. It may be ugly walking for a couple days, when this finally begins to melt.
Last night, a full moon on the unfamiliar snow.
This cold and immobility stops up my heart and clogs my mind. I don't think I've had one clear, definite thought or feeling since the solstice. My longing for rain -- rain that falls and flows and doesn't freeze -- is intense. I want to remake my life and become a better person, somehow, but nothing really moves or changes. It's all a cold whiteness, slowly going to gray.