Saturday, January 1, 2011

12.22 Snow Fell




Snow fell and everything was beautiful.
Snow fell and it dusted the grassy places first, or the places where there were only weeds because nobody really owned them like the edges of the rumpled sidewalks where just a curbstone separated safety from the rule of the road. Snow fell, and then it began to pile like coarse sand on the raw asphalt of the sidewalk, or like sawdust piling up from the place where the carpenter powered through posts for a new house or addition.
A half hour later, long after I’d expected the slow flutter of random flakes to stop altogether and the world to go back to being plain, old, cold gray, the snow had begun to accumulate on the road in front of our house. And then the cars seemed to disappear altogether. There were usually a few parked round, here and there, belonging to whomever, but now the street seemed empty. It grew very quiet.
Snow fell, and I kept putting down my book and walking over to the front room window to watch it. It’s funny, because there really isn’t anything to watch, certainly not any action,. No people, no movement, no story line. Snow just falls, and maybe blows a little if a breeze comes up. This wasn’t a real storm; hardly any wind to speak of. And the fall itself wasn’t thick. The flakes were about as invisible as they could be. You didn’t really see any one of them. You saw instead a kind of wave in the air. A nearly invisible interruption of the space between you – and the world, whatever you were looking at. There were a couple of tire treads in the middle of the road, so some vehicle must have rolled through. Even as I stood by a window and watched the tread trail left behind by the tires gradually began to fill with the miniscule chaff of soft, tiny particles.
That was time, falling out there, I remembered thinking. An odd thing. Time passed, inside the house, inside myself, while I was reading or cleaning up my desk or standing in the kitchen thinking what to eat. But I couldn’t see it ordinarily. I couldn’t see the sands disappear from the hourglass.
Now looking through the eyes of the front room windows I could. Time was coming down. Accumulating, lying there in the road.
And as it did, things were changing. The world was turning from one thing to another.