The snow falls. Fast and light. I want to hate it, but truth is I don’t. Truth is I’m grateful for it. Truth is I sleep deeply, warmly, contentedly in the bed and on the couch. I sleep better than I have in days. I cook slowly, taking my time, using all the ingredients in the fridge. The garlic, the onion, the zucchini, the sage sausage. I turn on public radio and listen carefully. I stare out the window, pointlessly, my eyes unable to measure the accumulation of the snow, only to notice the falling of it. I use the snow as an excuse to have breakfast dessert. Cookies after my eggs. I use the snow as an excuse to make all the hot drinks from the cardboard packages in the cabinet. The kettle hisses and clicks. I pour.
I use the snow as an excuse to save myself. To remind myself what the fuck I’m doing. I’m thankful for the Internet. Thankful for the blog. How I write now. I can come here whenever I want, and I can type in a word to sum up how I feel, what I’m asking: “loneliness”, “food”, “love” and up they come, the entries I’ve made. Myself returning to myself. Her from then and her now. Here she is to talk to me, to accompany me. I thank her. She knows me.
Patricia Lockwood: How do we write now?
“That your attention is in one sense the most precious part of you, it is your soul spending yourself, to teach you that there’s always more.
That your attention is a resource that can be drafted, commandeered, militarized and made to march — like youth, passion, or patriotism.
That your attention can be diverted and used to power the devil’s Hoover Dam.
That we live in a time where people pay to be locked in a room together and have to find a way out. That this is fun to us now.”
Finding the answer to my question, what am I searching for? I’m searching for the motivation. I’m searching for the reminder that life in a sense has always been unjust and painful and utter nonsense. I read Zora Neale Hurston; I read Mary Crow Dog. I read the women and the men who know this. The wind howls, and I watch the squirrels come down from the tree. Where do the squirrels live? I expect them to be crusty with snow and ice. Ice in their brown crevices. They are dry and dark against the snow. Skipping across the drifts like spring, like children. What do they think of time?
“The scaramucci is not just a unit of time, it is also a unit of conspiracy against you, and the work you were put here to do.
The feeling you get after hours of scrolling that all your thoughts have been replaced with cotton candy — or something even nastier, like Runts or circus peanuts — as opposed to the feeling of being open to poetry, to being inside the poem, which is the feeling of being honey in the hive.
The single best way to give the morning back to myself is to open a real book as I drink my first cup of coffee. I’m not sure why real books are best. I think the pages remind me that I have fingerprints. I think I like to see what I have read lying sweetly by the side of what I’m about to read, like a wife.”
I do small loads of laundry in the washer. I do not move them to the dryer. It is quick to hang the few things up. I do not feel like checking if the dryer vent is free of snow. I do not feel like going outside. I want to hate the snow, but I cannot. The music plays, and the snow falls.
When I was a child I would imagine the life of my ancestors. I would sit outside in the grass alone and imagine what it was like to be native, to be indigenous, to be free. I would turn my bicycle into a horse and ride, like people did after the Spanish invaded. I would climb the pine tree in the back. Spend afternoons in the skinny branches. I would relish the feel of dirt on my skin. Sweat in my scalp. I would yearn for more space to discover, more nature to attend. When the snow fades, I will walk for hours. I will remember what the weekends are for, but now I forget, I have snow amnesia. I am too distracted to maintain a routine. I stare out the window and wonder where the squirrels go. I think this is what I need to keep myself alive.