Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beautiful this morning, so glad the sun's coming out. The last couple of days the atmosphere has been a ceaseless milky gray and looking out the windows I've had the disconcerting feeling of being within a box construction, or glass dome, or snowglobe. Within the tiny domain, arranged with the cozy, colorful furnishings of a dollhouse, all is clear. Without, an affectless shroud surrounds. Indoors all is cheerful, bright, alive; on the other side of the glass - a mere membrane away - an icy frozen world, bleached and glossed as an old black and white photo, pervades.

Now that the sun's out color is leaching back into the landscape, the sky's turning pale blue, tree bark gleams brown in apricot sun - there's more equipoise between the dimensions, as in summer, as in osmotic exchange, between outside and in. As I look out the window, I feel less like a miniature in a shadowbox.

I glance at the dictionary to check the definitions of torpid and of shadowbox. A boldfaced word at the top of a page catches my eye: sexennial. Curious, I glance at the entry. "Occurring every six years," "an event that occurs every six years." No kidding! That's what it means? I thought it was about something else though the time frame roughly fits.

Back from a walk. We had an ice storm the other night and yesterday and today every branch, every twig, every twiglet, of every tree, every shrub, everywhere all around here is encrusted in ice. An amazing effect. A landscape draped in diamonds. Imagine if a Martha Stewart type set about to try to thus festoon the landscape with these crystal effects, painstakingingly painting each branch, each twig of every plant with white royal icing, confectioners sugar, and dragées. Couldn't be done! God's offhand extravagance, shaking out a boundless sack of A.P., getting it all over everything. Ah I know that effect well, from when I'm set to bake cookies from scratch, inevitable flurries and countertop dustings as I measure out the flour...

I noticed on my walk, besides dazzling visuals, an aural dimension: the roar of rushing rapids from down the ravine; overhead and all around, the crackling and crinkling of ice in trees; and at one house, faint and cordial stirrings of garden chimes.

(I rely too heavily on just sight and sound in my writing. And so as I noticed the sounds, I made a point of inhaling deeply - but really didn't smell anything. The air temperature was mild. Ah, that's touch! Oh, but thinking of scent, and taste, and touch - now my mind transports to another landscape altogether - yours...)

It was a day that contained moments of enjoyment with little creatures. Gwynnie loves my ivory cashmere sweaters, the ones I sleep in, and when I'm about to shower and take them off and lay them on the bed (I audibly pat the bed to alert her) Gwynnie runs into the room, takes a flying leap onto the bed, and claims her cashmere.

On my walk today no snow geese - phew, because I didn't have bread in my pocket and I hate to disappoint, especially since anthropomorphized they'd be gangster geese hurling cursing epithets at me for coming emptyhanded. Instead, by one house that I pass at the turn of road and creek, a pair of little dogs (Pekingese? I don't know dogs, really) become hugely excited when I pass and yap with great excitement. And there was another small young dog there too, a different breed, that leaped the little white plastic fence and bounded over to me on the pavement, just wanting to greet me and get a little pat and attention. Which I was happy to give - except that I was in the middle of the road at this fairly blind turn with notoriously clueless speeders who view pedestrians as strange alien anomalies - certainly it's unexpected to see a pedestrian in these parts (which is why where there used to be a gaggle of five magnificent snow geese with attitude - they're down to three).

So - evolution. The one young pup leaped the fence and into my redcoated arms, and the Pekingese, who hadn't dreamed or considered leaping over the no more than foot high plastic length adjoining a level snowbank, appeared in an instant to - flash, get it! - and they leaped over, for their first times ever, and into my arms except that at this point I was like, get off the road, get off the road! Because here I am in the middle of the road, in a bad spot, with three little dogs and a van whooshing past...

The dogs' owner came outside and I said, I'm so sorry, I had no idea the effect I had on your dogs - and he said, yeah, that's Brooklyn...

I guess that's the name of one of the dogs - not even of the feisty geese.

Darlings, no lives were lost (phew) and so off I went...


So many kisses, my love - thinking of you always - safe travels


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