“If you go slowly enough, six or seven months is an eternity—if you let it be—if you forget old things, and learn new ones. Even a week can last forever.”
Rick Bass, Winter

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
Albert Camus

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day 86: The Snow Man and the Snow Dog

A peaceful snow day spent inside writing, reveling in the luxury of all this snow and time.  And then a romp with the dog, chasing and stillness: the ephemeral and eternal, lying down, side by side.

It was inevitable in a blog with "Winter" in the title that I would one day pay homage to Wallace Stevens.
"The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. 

"The Dog in Winter" by Natalia Rachel Singer

One must have a mind of winter to regard the hemlock branches laden with snow and the steep slope toward the river where bones were buried in fall leaves and scattered sticks beckon now.

One has to hear music in this wind and in toys squeaking underfoot where the crust is thin, not the misery of cold March even if somewhere not far from here crocuses break ground with furious color. 

In this late winter stillness, a canine mind can perceive the all--winter grass, frozen river, caked branches, wind--until the dog's mind is winter itself, indistinguishable from snow and land.

And then the dog's person watches, beholding the something that is here, not listening yet to the nothing that becomes everything after winter days like this are gone.