Sunday, February 15, 2015

FIELD NOTES: Through the Window

Listening to the wind...
...On an average Sunday morning, I might put light jazz on Pandora. Today, some might describe the wind as howling, but it is not howling. It is continuously crashing over the house like an ocean of wind, surging up the snow - bone dry from the extreme cold - like a sand storm and reminding the window frames of where their cracks are. So I need to be quiet….and write. The sun is in its usual place, but odd white clouds and snow dust wrap around it like a mummy’s cloth. It is blindfolded, beaming without the benefit of sight, using the branches on the towering locust trees like long bony fingers groping for something to hold on to. A few birds make a run at the feeder, perching on the railing, taking off like skilled fighter jets when the time is right. How are they out there? If it were me, just wearing feathers, I would die! But out there they are…and with plenty of company. The snow cover is not pristine; it is crisscrossed with a collection of tracks like Grand Central Station. There is a raccoon living on a shelf in the shed. A woodpecker flew out of a hole in the side of the house. I sometimes hear scratching in the attic from mice. I am a reluctant Dr. Doolittle. The violence of nature often draws me in, like a voyeur, but only when I know I am safe. I like to press my palm against a cold window and feel how thin it is. Right now….I see my whitened landscape as the direct opposite of desert on the other side of the world. Could I just flip it like an hourglass? I suddenly feel as dry as the desert – the furnace keeps running after escaped heat, the indoor air is static, my plants are brittle, my throat is dry, my skin is dry, my muscles cramp because in the absence of heat, we have all forgotten to drink! I listen to the wind unceremoniously taking down the things I once meticulously set up and I can’t do anything about it. I am physically apart from much of what I want, but I have sensed that the universe in general is through testing my patience and is stirring, preparing to reintegrate into something extraordinary.