from "The Gift" by Raymond Carver:
This morning there’s snow everywhere. We remark on it.
You tell me you didn’t sleep well. I say
I didn’t either. You had a terrible night. “Me too.”
We’re extraordinarily calm and tender with each other
as if sensing the other’s rickety state of mind.
As if we knew what the other was feeling. We don’t,
of course. We never do. No matter.
It’s the tenderness I care about. That’s the gift
this morning that moves and holds me.
Same as every morning.
The lines by Carver say everything I could want to say this morning.
The snow, the poor sleeping, the rickety state of our minds, especially in winter, somehow. The tenderness.
The huge amounts of solitude one needs for one's work. How you have to love the solitude, crave it, continually fight for it, but also, it does things to you over time, right?
And then, the constant worry, the obscurity, which is perhaps better for one's art than the opposite.
Yesterday on my morning walk the coyote was out in the field you see below, pouncing on mice under the snow. The dog went merrily along, not even noticing thank goodness, since the snow is high enough in places he could jump over the fence. He's been known to chase a coyote down the entire stretch of the field.
Yesterday Rob brought up the painting he's been working on for the past couple of weeks and hung it in our living room. A bedraggled, rickety rose. So beautiful and full of life. That tenderness - a red rose from summer falling apart so gorgeously in our living room in the middle of winter.