Friday, January 13, 2017


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.


Murr Brewster said...

I feel the same way you do about rain, but those flannel skies with city-light roses blooming at the horizon, that slapping wind, the crystals hanging high--this works too. Focus, dear. It's the SUMMER HEAT AND BRIGHTNESS that we must rail against.

Sabine said...

Yes, rain. I am with you there (it is snowing outside, huge wet flakes). But remember, winter is short. It will be over soon.

tatz said...

Be grateful you don't live in Saskatchewan, where snow & ice start in early November and end in April.

Dale said...

I am, believe me!

marly youmans said...

Yes, well, as a Southerner in the N'oth, I know whereof you speak! Especially today.

Although I think also of the larger thing you mean and Jarrell's "The Woman at the Washington Zoo" sweeps in, those last two lines.... We could say them every day like a prayer, and it might be good for us.