Tuesday, December 31, 2013

After the freeze

After the freeze, a thaw. Rain. Fog. Gusts of wind rattle the frost-bitten branches, toss chunks of ice to the ground. We crush them underfoot. And now another freeze, a breath-stopping chill that icicles your eyelashes. This is the way we will face the new year: swaddled in layers, our cheeks stinging with cold, breath turning to frost as soon as it strikes our scarves.

Last night I dream that everything in my office is burning; there is nothing we can do but get out before the roof collapses. All of my papers, my notebooks, the photos and the books are consumed by flames. In my dream, my only regret concerns the notebooks from last summer, from the trip to Alaska; I've not managed to make anything from them yet. I reach for them, and they whirl apart into cinders. We race from the building, dodge falling beams, and finally stand outside looking up into the night sky. Flames shoot through the roof; we are deafened by the blazing fire.

Suppose indeed, nothing were to be left?
Nothing? What of your memory?

Okay, nothing but my memory.
And the possibilities of imagination.

Yes, that too.
What then?

We'd start over again then, I guess.
Or tell new stories.

And what if you were to begin anyway now?

Even without a conflagration?
Yes, even without a conflagration.

I don't know if I could.
You mean you don't know if you could want to.

What is old is new again.

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