Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cold

The calligraphy of cold writes on my old windows...


...I see a parrot tulip stenciled in ice...


...a child's drawing of feline ears rising from a scarf woven of crystal floss...




...and a warm-blooded little cat who pushes her face against my hand and purrs, unused to being anything but the center of attention.




Stazi Lu and I might wish we lived someplace where Imbolg actually does signify the softness of springtime—a warmer place, where the midpoint between winter solstice and the spring equinox is celebrated with towering fires on the high hills, and fiddled melodies, and a fine, pagan revelry....

The rhythms and seasons of the Upper Midwest are a world away from those of the old Celts, though. Early spring is still a good six weeks away. It is one degree Fahrenheit, the sun has descended and the wave of frigid air emanating from each double-hung window reaches far into the house's interior. I hear the high-pitched spinning of car tires on the ice as my neighbors try to negotiate the frozen ruts of the alleyway behind our house. It is hard to make oneself go outside; but it is hard in a different way to stay in. And though I am to winter born, this quote otherwise sums up the last day of January:

“I, however, a tropical bird, was cold—cold one way outdoors and another way indoors, ceaselessly and more or less thoroughly cold.” 
Ursula Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness


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