Posted by: M.C. | 27 January 2010

Winter Thaw

For days, even weeks at a time these past couple of months, winter has swallowed us whole here on the central Plains. White-cold, wind, and ice envelop the sky and earth and horizon. I find it easy in these long months to feel cut off and isolated. However much I know this is my depression manifesting itself, these feelings still grip me tightly, and I labor to keep their claws–like the cold–from sinking into my skin.

I know the writing helps. When I write, the world crackles to life, not just here on the page at my desk, but in the water sluicing through my fingers when I scoop it to rinse my mouth at the bathroom sink. When I get into that writer’s mind–when I know that I might want to write about something I’m seeing or experiencing–I pay attention in a different way. I register what my senses tell me in a different way. I can best compare it to the sensation you get when you rub a cloth or an object between your fingertips and against the meat of your thumb. That sensation of tactile richness.

Pausing to take in the physicality of a moment makes it spiritual for me, as if my body were a kind of tuning fork that the act of feeling–really feeling–sets to vibrating. The snow and ice and clouds lie still, but instead of seeming bleak or barren, now they shimmer. And from somewhere inside me, deep roots reach out and find sustenance.


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