Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Things as they are

Scatters of snow fluff fall nonchalantly through the hours. I look away. By late afternoon the soft stuff falls again through the second by second intensification of cast iron slow-darkening sky, looking as if ocean deeps were turned upward to the clouds.
Atmosphere both heavy and light, filled with meaning and meaning nothing. A seeming saying-something moment, a pregnant pause in a story.
But the story is merely the ineffable suchness of real time, present, real, existing: things as they are. Poets die in this moment (or seek a new dispensation). Hope dies; or rises anew. But the sky goes on composing in the gray, gloomily triumphant shades of its own abnegation, its self-emptying of all memory of light like a vacuum that swallows an upside falling earth; the snow falls ever more soundlessly; the gossamer gray gloom speaks ever more clearly of nothing but itself; nothing goes on happening, hearts continue to beat, voices sing as they always do heard or unheard, the cat sleeps in my lap. It is still now.
Words cannot say.
Time passes.
In California, or is it Florida, farmers coat vulnerable fruit plants with water to create a protective coating of ice around them. The theory, I believe, is the ice keeps the temperature from going below thirty-two degrees on the fruits and their stems, sheltering them from some deeper intensity of cold than ice itself.
But it is well below thirty-two in our part of the world and has been for days. Should we not aim our hoses in the air and cover the sky with freezing water? Should we not live beneath domes of ice?