Wednesday, January 21, 2015

to be of the snow


By Heather Christle

It is not that you want
to be the one to make prints
in the untrampled snow
It is that you want
to be in the snow
without having touched it
to be of  the snow
not beginning
Everywhere commerce
dictates the shapes
that move you along
that seat you at the table
far from the snow
far from the act
of not touching
It only gets worse
A girl’s gotta eat
And your hunger’s
not even your own

Commerce will usually dictate I spend most of my time away from the snow, but by some luck there are usually two days of the week, where it's possible for me to 'be of the snow.' 

I used to spend ridiculous amounts of time pining for a consistent life of the mind, the life of the writer, uninterrupted.

Quite a long time ago I came across the book, Breathing the Page by Betsy Warland. I wrote a post about it, too. In the book Warland says, "Although we can understandably long for a period of full-time writing, we can't afford to pine too much for this."

I constantly refer to this piece of advice. 

With our daughter now staring university in the face (well, she's a year and a half away), the fact is that I'll likely be working more in the future, rather than less.

It only gets worse
A girl’s gotta eat
And your hunger’s
not even your own

It's so strange and wonderful to come across a poem that says something so exact about your life. I think this is mostly the reason I keep seeking out poems, reading poetry. For a poem like this one, by a poet I'd never heard of before. I'll certainly be seeking out Heather Christle's books.

Strange as it may seem, I'm wishing for a good clean snowfall. Since taking these photos there's been what feels like a spring melt. Everything slippery and the sidewalks and roads full of sand to counteract. Rather unattractive out there right now!

But here Ace and I were last week. In the snow and lovely frost. Out in the field by the highway. And you can see the traffic a little, which I tried to include.

On the way home, a crow. I watched from a long way away, and it seemed it was flying with some purpose, some direction, above the utility corridor. Coming in to land on a light post. And then quickly take off again.


  1. Yes, yes, and absolutely yes. I love this post so much.

  2. What gorgeous winter light and tones and Ace is always a stunning sight in the snow! Chloe is staring university right in the face...that year and a half will fly by, trust me. I remember being so nervous. I don't know how college financing works in Canada but I do know that somehow you make it work and you get by. And you still get to eat.

    1. You're right - we'll make it all work somehow :) Glad I'm not alone with that nervous feeling! Thanks, Susan


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