Month of slate gray skies & the religious promise of snow. Every morning we wake to a world drained of color, both of us a little older, a little less comfortable with the view of hills assembled beyond the window like an old man’s knuckles. Our breath clears a space in the frost. Together, we watch as autumn wears to a thin edge. For weeks we’ve cleared the wide fields, cut back frail limbs on the fruit trees. Bramley apples, Portugal quinces all gathered & darkening now in the cellar, piled in wicker baskets, each one a province spared from the season’s hardness. A little light elbows its way through the peeling limbs of the sycamore, blackbirds fret the powerlines. It’s cold. The days are short, close to the bone. It’s become a question of our hold on things. We could rise up like plainsong through the hayfields in the last frayed hours of daylight. We know that weather itself is a form of worship.
The Weather This Morning
The weather this morning makes me think I’ve wakened in one of those countries where the women are seen walking out of a cloud of blackbirds carrying apronfuls of geese: the women are heartless, the necks of the geese sway like tulips. The point is: it’s fine weather for slaughter Not so much because it’s cold but because all I can see is snow, snow that’s fattened the valley’s hungriest fields. The clouds are showing up now, one by one, like the curious at a public spectacle. I think of my uncle, lame, who dragged one leg behind him in perpetual hesitation, facing off the stares of bystanders as he hurdled grotesquely through kneedeep snow. The ability to remain unmoved by the most commonplace cruelty— that’s what weather teaches. You know how on some mornings snow will spread beyond its own comprehension, how it remains blameless, hushed, its depth simply an aspect of repose.
I can’t say why rain lisping on a tin roof has kept me awake so late — the glimmer on things, a streetlight’s broken path into the darkness — no word from the other side. This afternoon as I listened to the faint reeds of some water, bird singing to its shadow, I sensed how the self can stalk its double and still look on, moved. Meanwhile the rain here repeats its fine print, a wavy script on the window, in some places beads holding their own light.