Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Light Source of Winter--from VCFA Winter 2012

Some part of me loves only wilderness, longs for a life lived in tune with the sun. That part wants to live where the night sky, radiant with the belt of the Milky Way, will light my path from the frozen lake to the sauna to the small house with smoke rising from the chimney like a friend awaiting my return.

And isn’t this all too romantic? Like believing you belong to another time period and yet knowing that you barely tolerate the way the modern era treats you, a woman, even if you are a white woman…and who’s to say how blond hair and blue eyes mark you. I remember my grandfather, an Icelander living in Northern Minnesota, saying something about the Scandinavian blonds of the Upper Midwest getting sent to New York to become prostitutes for their hair color. Was it “sent” or “stolen”? He seemed to like tales involving stolen women. Such as the story of Iceland: the Vikings landed in Ireland on their way and stole the most beautiful women to take with them to settle Iceland.

The sun in the winter sky today—late afternoon—rests just above the mountains, a smudged circular whiteness. I can look at it without my eyes hurting. In workshop, I watched the snow fall, the colors turn in the sky to a cold and blue clarity and I missed my Northern Minnesota home. I thought of the way the sun hung along the southern edge of the sky all day and tucked itself down to bed even before supper. The white of the lake covered in snow goes blue, a pale watery blue; tracks from skis lead strait out over the lake, their color a cobalt indent in the snow disappearing in the distance. Tonight I might sit and sweat in the sauna, I might chop wood in the space of silence, a quiet so heavy I can hear the trees creak from the weight of snow on their branches.

Vermont Hulbert Outdoor Center

And so it is this dulled ball of sun I think of for the color it makes in the world, for the way it cuts an outline in the trees that rise gray-green from the mountainside. This contrast becomes a sort of relief from no contrast, from the hatched gray wash of winter. This light waning, casts its best spell at dusk when a certain magic twinkles there in the midst and I am given to the best kind of hope, a sort of pleasured musing…a place where I most believe that the comfort of God has nothing to do with the afterworld.


julie.e said...

Homestead with grey dreads and bird feeders...

Emily Arnason Casey said...

yes, I'm there...we've always known this future!!