Thursday, April 15, 2010

Slightly slow

I have a cold weather mode and a warm weather mode; I'm happy to be in the latter.

The post below, however, is a cold mode leftover-- important once, but passed its prime -- or a cold mode hangover, a dream whose details are gratefully difficult to recall, and the best that can be hoped for is remotely good decisions were made while in the thick of it.

Warm mode, and it's onset, has brought on a slew of absurdities, maybe a lot like what you've experienced; it's only that the
how hasn't yet caught up with the what. A little slow.

January is a geyser for the wedding industry and for marketing gurus determined to help creative entrepreneurs get their dreams off the ground. The internet and Inbox are bombarded with offers of trade shows and teleclasses, tempting you with alterations in calendar and content, yanking out from under you any time or sanity left unguarded.

February brings a slew of random gigs -- including playing the world premier of Stan Smith's piece at Capital's NOW Festival and Valentine's dinner at Barcelona -- that somehow happen around all the snowstorms. Photos of the mountains of white that line either side of the driveway are now so the norm they are no longer interesting.

When it gets to be too much, it doesn't matter anymore whether it's smart to go running out into the night, donning the faded coat that matches the heavy fog nestling over the land of just-melted snow, the same coat that, over fifteen years ago, your friend who came with you to the discount store queried, "Black? Again? And four sizes too large?" This is the coat now that is donned for dirty work, like wrestling with firewood, taking out compost, shoveling Volvos out of the driveway.

Or getting the mail. That's really all you intended, not to go crashing past the mailbox with old zippers and torn elastic flailing, clambering down the shimmering strip of grey that is the road, stopped only momentarily by the unmistakable wail of the pack of coyotes just two fields over, who cry early on this night, probably in the exact spot you were just yesterday.

You prefer to be in the fields and woods, but something keeps you on the road and you stop again for another sound -- the rushing of the water. The driveway piles of white you unceremoniously kicked to oblivion to further expedite their melting have transformed here to foam and fervor, smashing past fallen trees and stones. This is how you grew up: Watch the water. There is movement here. Obstructions don't exist here.

You needed this reminder. You don't have any more answers than you did yesterday, even though you handed over half your questions.

You're not crying, nor laughing, nor fearful, nor pained -- or maybe you are all of it at once. It's a flood. You are a portal, after all, channeling what you didn't have a choice in downloading. The waves crash and clamor through and past -- no obstructions.

As a kid, you studied the patterns of the water and cleared out the leaves just to watch it gain momentum. You marveled at how the crayfish could stand the cold. The stones and water, polishing each other clean for years, met for the first time the alterations created by your innocent and curious hands, the same hands that within a few hours pushed ketchup & mustard & cheddar cheese on bread into the gargantuan microwave to melt.

The trees along the side of the road whose midsections were barbarically removed to make way for power lines are fantastic dark angels, silent sentinels. Their wings reach out and up, spread for flight. Their heads are bowed into the wind, into the night, ready -- no obstructions.

No going back.


  1. The method of trim is "Shigo" named for Alex Shigo, and while many trees trimmed after his techniques remain healthy, not everyone agrees on standards of eye appeal. Various Shigo trims can bee easily identified as seeming to "avoid" power lines through repeated trimming, or training.
    --thanks for sharing! C M Tanner II

  2. Thank you so much, Charles, for your insight!