Monday, March 24, 2014

Well, duh

This winter's beyond wearisome and even late March can't ease the burden. If the snow -- the endless snows, storm after storm, inch on inch -- was an achromatic disguise, the determined sun has defied the unrelenting cold and melted all but the highest piles and the deepest, most-hidden drifts. So it's all bare now: the beat-up lawns, the flat and fallow fields, the neglected detritus of a high, frozen tide, exposed.

Maybe more snow tomorrow and a low of eleven. We wear our layers and heavy coats and attitudes of resignation.

The sun shrugs and keeps climbing higher.

What have we learned, this interminable winter, when we had nothing but time and pixels to amuse us? In short, not much. Last week's lesson in failure exposed some weaknesses. Today in a daydream we took an imaginary journey into an unpublished book, and came up embarrassingly short; even as the snow melt reveals the battered bones of the landscape out our windows, the longer, less-slant light of spring exposes all kinds of literary weaknesses, too. The wan light of winter fooled us into an unearned confidence, blanketed beauty; this week, the sharper rays of the late-March sun erodes the guise and stuns us with reality.

There's not much we can do about a recalcitrant spring, except wait and hope. The other lessons we can make good on.
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding 
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing 
Memory and desire, stirring 
Dull roots with spring rain. 
Winter kept us warm, covering         5
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding 
A little life with dried tubers....

... She turns and looks a moment in the glass, 
Hardly aware of her departed lover; 250
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass: 
“Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.” 
When lovely woman stoops to folly and 
Paces about her room again, alone, 
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand, 255
And puts a record on the gramophone.
 (The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot)

Leaving us wondering,

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