Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hip Waders Strongly Recommended

I blacked out yesterday and came to with my hand in a bag of Trader Joe's Movie Theater Popcorn, a veritable bucket of chili on the stove in what could only have been a limbic, Pavlovian response to the mysterious white that has stitched up the city - emergency! they say. The only emergency I can see is that I tripped over some bliss and fell into a pile of tiny gloves mittens scarves boots hats coats left drying by the fire from this bonus vacation that turns our tiny house into an island or maybe a boat. Adrift in drifts and jewel earthtones warm inside with winds that buffet - buffet! I say - and mix with tiny squeals and sliding cardboard on forbidden ground - the driveway and into the street. Today nothing is forbidden, the fruit has been frozen and covered in a sparkling white dream where the outside world, bereft of grownups, is theirs to conquer and build and throw and wallow and slip-slide-sled. The boundary lines have been blurred in the ice and the world slips open just a little bit more. "Come in when it starts to sting" I sing and busy myself with soups and mugs of hot things for impossibly red faces and the hair! That glorious hair all matted wet and tangled up plastered places escaping upward from crowns and it's the hair of happiness. Tying knots in yarn with sticks and making more things to get wet and loved, pausing to add wood to the fire, sip my coffee, revel in the presence of my truly better half, my everything in this unexpected leisure of emergency! We listen for sirens and say silent prayers for those without their own boats or islands of warm woolen hand-knit comfort and fires and cocoa and assorted soups. At night the city holds its breath - its groaning, sighing, chirping dream state ceases and falls soundlessly asleep, buried deep in the cold. We lay and listen to the silence and further evidence it's only us and ours and now. We watch the scrolling tide of cancelled, postponed otherness - outside things on other planets than today. We walk the blurry lines to fill our bags with tasty things to comfort, keep us warm. I am regal in my cape - a carriage coat from the turn of another century, passed down by great aunt who's recently gone. I wear it, warm, and think of her and smile. I smile in my bowler hat, my hot pink rubber boots. Ridiculously warm and ridiculous, I sweep the tops of banks with its length. My footmen are brightly colored monkeys, my handsome prince carries my parcels and I am the queen of 12 blocks. I blacked out when I contemplated this life. This blessing of wonder and speech and the thousand million tiny web-like threads which some would break for some loose change jingled on top of a heap. I speak, I write, I think - I have these luxuries - this tiny bright candle of magnificence in the darker tides of human history. On other days I tremble to think of that tiny light quietly whickering away bit by bit in laws and bills and hate and greed. But today, I came to in order to celebrate. This is so much more than words. It's so much more than me. It's so large, this life that fits in my tiny house with a sloping driveway. So large and so brilliant I grasp only wisps and whispers of its magnitude.

25 comments:

  1. You make it sound so attractive, that even the most curmudgeonly of snow haters has been drawn into your magic spell. Besides, I used to love snow, especially when we built the igloos. Everyone had a hand in the project. It remains a goal of mine to build and sleep the night in an igloo, but i need the help of as-of-yet-unarrived grandchildren, to make that happen.

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    1. Thank you. It is a lot easier to see the fun side of snow with short folks around.

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  2. Isn't it funny how the weather can take us both outside ourselves and somehow deeper into ourselves at the same time? We haven't had more than a dusting here--and it takes A LOT to constitute an "emergency" in our little neck of the woods.

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    1. We're a bit wimpy about our snow here. But it sure is fun when the whole city shuts down!

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  3. Beautiful! You actually made me crave a snowstorm, which is a real feat, as I hate snowstorms.

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  4. Yes, MAsked MOm, exactly what I was thinking but didn't know how to say! Beautifully written, as always:) I'm ready to go into hibernation, and winter has barely begun! We live in the snow belt, so when it starts in earnest we'll be buried.

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    1. Thank you. We don't get a whole lot of snow here, so this was a major event for us.

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  5. Sounds like home. (: I love our little nook. Our small little corner. It's perfection with all the snow outside.
    Gorgeously described.
    P.S. Verification word - nesty. Nasty weather, nesty-like homes.

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  6. Love it! And I'm glad you got your share of snow... So nice to share a winter wonderland, where most everyone gets to slow to the same pace for a moment.

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  7. Transportitive (not a word?). Transporting. I held my breath reading.

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    1. Wow, thanks! Transportive should be a word.

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  8. Wow! Such imagery. You completely captured me when you tripped over some bliss and fell into that pile of tiny gloves, mittens, hats et al. I really like the way you blend the concrete and the abstract.

    And then.... I was struck with this line:
    "It's so large, this life that fits in my tiny house with a sloping driveway. So large and so brilliant I grasp only wisps and whispers of its magnitude."

    I started a post early yesterday morning that has this thought (the way I read it, anyway) as its theme. I plan to finish and post later today. Curious that I see my kernel of an idea in your finished work. But then I might not get what you are saying. Or maybe I think too much.....

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    1. Okay - I was wrong. It wasn't a a post about life being large. It was about living out loud. But I see parallels.... and guess what? the comment to you in the above post gave me the impetus to finish in NOW. Thanks!

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    2. Thank you, thank you. You are so kind to my writing.
      To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what I was saying. Sometimes the beauty of things feels so big I can't contain it, can't quite grasp it. A small large life and living out loud are very similar, I think? Mostly I'm glad that it reverberated with you and meant something to you. Thinking too much? Impossible! ;)

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  9. Beautiful. My heart aches with it.

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