Into Winter

February 13, 2010

It’s been two weeks since I blogged.  I’d apologize (to myself, mostly; I figure I’m the only one I’ve really let down) but I’m pretty sure I can find an excuse for not blogging in the landscape outside.

What a dark and icy winter this has been.  This is my third year on the Southern Plains and the first year that I’ve truly understood that phrase, “bitter cold”.  I didn’t lose power this year – knock wood – and there was only one day when I couldn’t get the van out of the driveway.  But I’ll always remember this as a winter of wind and ice.  Not a good combination.

Snow doesn’t bother me.  I loved winters living in Central Oregon, near Crater Lake.  One year out there we got 27′ of snow.  There was almost six feet on the ground at one time and I had to dig tunnels from the front door to the outbuildings to the cars, like a white funhouse maze.  But there was no wind up there and no ice.  Winter was magical and sparkling; sunlight on snow, moonlight on snow.

There’s been no moonlight here this winter and damned little sunlight.  The half-foot of snow we received hardened to cement under a gray sky.  When it melted, it seeped into the earth and turned the ground into an Oklahoma version of permafrost.  And always the wind, shrill around the house at night, like unhappy spirits.

I’ve been very prolific writing fiction this winter.  It’s not like there was anything else to do except sit at the computer night after night.  But blogging is harder for me because, in my case, it entails writing down my feelings.  I’m kind of a guy when it comes to discussing how I feel.  I feel, ’nuff said.  Let’s move onto something else.  It’s dangerous territory.  It’s too close to the center, too close to the soft spots, the vulnerabilities.

The sun is shining today and when I went outside the wind didn’t cause my eyes to tear and then freeze the drops on my lashes.  In a little while I’m going to take Slevin and we’re going to run some errands.  I think he feels it too, this ennui.

Frozen like the ground.  Gray like the trees and the grass and the houses.

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