More specifically concerning: winter
7.01.02 – Monday
Have spent much of the weekend in bed with a cold and only now have the inclination to write even a little bit. Watched the DVD of Jan Svankmajer’s Alice (1988) this morning. It’s a strange film and scary, all ominous puppetry and dark innocence. It started snowing last night and is now snowing again, […]
8.01.02 – Tuesday
Went last night to the Pleasant St. Theater and saw The Royal Tenenbaums on M’s recommendation. Anyway, it was enjoyable, much as reading Sartre or Pound in a bus station with the cold smell of dirt, stale coffee, and old cigarettes is fun, I suppose. It was uplifting, a tale of redemption, &c. Walked home […]
1.02.02 – Friday
Of interest to me today: Nations with land bordering China, clockwise from lower right: Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, North Korea. Nations with land bordering the US, clockwise from lower right: Mexico, Canada. Pushing great sheets of ice off of cars; they slide so beautifully, cracking into […]
4.02.02 – Monday
Granulated brain, vocabulary running free like an hour-glass’s sands. To study, to know a thing, is to internalize it and make it one’s own; in short, to memorize it. In a different age, the classical education required massive rote memorization of poetry, prose — you know, the classics. Everything then becomes allusive, words acquire a […]
05.03.02 – Tuesday
From Mo Tzu: ‘If there were a man who, on tasting a little bit of bitterness, called it bitter but, on tasting a lot, called it sweet, we would conclude that he could not distinguish between bitter and sweet’ (p. 51, §17). ‘This is simply to destroy what one does not have enough of for […]
A view (6)
Through all the varied lawns the grass once green again is brown, the summer dulling even as does winter. I am a winter creature myself, and these warm days, clear skies and noisome jocundities cause me to ache for a long nap ’til sweet reason returns with the fall; the merest mention of aestivation, however, […]
There are people who do not love their lives, for they ride bicycles on ice-covered pavement without a helmet.
Lately I’ve been thinking (very slowly) about the word choir and, in particular, its appearance in two familiar poems. The first is Wilfred Owen’s ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth‘, and the relevant passage (ll.5–8) runs as follows: No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, — The […]
Sixth Ave., God Bless.
The trouble with epigraphy. A fog has settled in for the winter and, although the café is warm and bright, the bustle and noise merely accentuate the drizzle and dark outside. It is my favorite time of year. It feels right to be inside, to be making things with my hands and reading books. Not […]
A view (20)
From the windows: the sound like the sea in the distance, cars crossing bridges crossing rivers leading to the ocean; the sharp cold color of the hills; shadows in the ridges, and white glaring light off the southern side of buildings; rusty leaves and the smell of ground and rotting chestnuts.
through the glass
It’s windy and cold and it gets dark out early – and I am too lazy to read.
And a fog settled over the village.
The room is warm and smells of expatriates, a peculiar blend of locally unavailable spices and foreign laundry detergent. There is a pile of completed books by the door, dwarfed by the stacks still unread beneath the window in the opposite wall. I am finishing up a few things I’ve been meaning to do for […]
winter’s dragon-voiced storms
We make the rounds, going from house to office to house to office, from tea to coffee to tea again with fruit and runny syrup. Mostly we talk about the weather. It is a never-ending source of conversation. The weather and health are the sacred fonts of social feeling. One is always cold, or has […]
Crambe repetita (15)
a visual interlude.
Water in the millrace, through a sluice of stone, plunges headlong into that black pond where, absurd and out-of-season, a single swan floats chaste as snow, taunting the clouded mind which hunger to haul the white reflection down. The austere sun descends above the fen, an orange cyclops-eye, scorning […]
The passes are probably closed.
A view (30)
Boiling the kettle for tea steams up the windows. Still no snow, though.
1 February 2011
a snow day Guests were supposed to arrive in the afternoon, but the constant snow made the passes dangerous and the roads, if not actually closed, perhaps should have been. The students were restive and fussy, as were the teachers. Snow kept falling, and managed to find the gap between my scarf and the back […]
Four men in orange vests clean the street. Two men work with overgrown spatulas – or worn down snow shovels – tapping the surface to break up the compacted snow, then scraping it towards the side of the road. They work together, each working on half of a lane (with, meanwhile, a clear lane of […]
A view (33)
The changing patterns of frost on the window are always interesting to me.
Crambe repetita (22)
Blaise Cendrars, Moravagine.
It’s too cold to ride.
Crambe repetita (26)
Margaret Cavendish, Sociable Letters
A view (35)
Frostbound at home.
Crambe repetita (31)
Gyula Krúdy, The Adventures of Sindbad.
No snow, sadly. And of course expected – hoped for – snow at the mountain for Christmas; I’m sure there is, too, another few hundred feet further up. The only thing for it is to skate Skarphedin-like across the hardwood floors in stocking’d feet for another cup of tea.
A view (40)
It rained most of the day.
A down-graded storm. There are of course other things I should be doing, even other things I should be reading, but just at the moment detective stories seem to be what I want. They are amusing and plotty and charmingly shamefaced. There’s not a one that takes itself too seriously, not one that claims it […]
A view (41)
… and it’s still snowing. …it was his professional dullness he had recovered, the dullness that he had assumed long ago, when he was still shy, in order to mislead the people he had to talk to, and that had become an almost unconscious reflex. – Georges Simenon (Maigret Has Scruples, p. 46)
a mere habit
It is snowing outside and there is nothing to do save sit in front of the fire and read. Indeed, there is nothing one would rather be doing. Did she distrust all figurative language because she was sharply aware of the aptitude of the most languid figurative expressions for persisting as a mere habit of […]
A view (45)
A view (46)
and another thing
Eventually, it did snow.
It has been unexpectedly cold, and on that particularly evening we were preparing for a very cold weekend, with frost and potentially snow. The puddles from recent rains had frozen, which is a rare thing – if I had a better memory, I could probably count on one hand the number of times this has […]
As in a moment, some weeks or months passed without record. This is not to say that nothing happened.