12/17/2016 0 Comments
LIKE SOME GREAT migratory beast, after a killing frost, he moves to his winter space. It's a spot next to the window. He tends to circle the room with the seasons. It's all about light and temperature and temperament. And this space is closer to the heat, closer to the light, and closer to his thoughts. His winter thoughts.
The ones that hang around like the edges of a shortened, dark day. The kind created out of blue nostalgic notions. Thoughts that are full with the faces and the voices of the ones who have gone on. Bittersweet and dripping, it is where he wallows.
Yet, out beyond the window, past the cold glass, other thoughts beckon like a wild clarion call. Worrisome thoughts about the mindset of his country, the ever changing tone of a fragile world, and a future that seems to echo a much darker past. It is history's scream above deaf ears.
And still, somehow, everything joins with the day's flying snow. Whipped to a frenzy in a frigid indecisive wind, first from the north then from the east, it all grapples with the frozen landscape, until it becomes a crystalline adornment for the yellowed, sleeping grass. And surprisingly a tonic for his soul.
Snow has that unique way of conjuring youth. Old becomes new. The fiercest storms always subside. Everything cycling from beginnings to endings, and beginning again. It is the way of Nature. It is the way of us.
So, feeling old and fat, he lays aside faded photos and worn out worries. He bends to tie his running shoes covered in another day's dust. And with his stocking cap pulled low, he steps into the cold and stands for a moment watching snowflakes spiral. Snowflakes that gather like cliche, like fallen stars on a black sleeve. He remembers the adage no two are alike and wonders briefly who did the comparisons. He shakes his head and begins to run. Breathing too hard, he runs out of yesterday and out past tomorrow. He runs determined. And as he runs, between breaths, not thinking, he begins to laugh.
For joy happens when we make room. It's most often found outside of ourselves. It's there on the tip of a bird's wing as it flies. It's there in the slight red of a winter sunset, just as the light leaves the sky. It waits in the periphery, somewhere between the heart and the soul.
May you find your joy this holiday season.
Pat Greenwell is an artist. A painter and sometimes poet, he has been searching the New Mexico desert for several years now, looking for lost possibilities and probable intentions.
"...mostly stream-of-consciousness stuff, you know...