Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snowbound in Vermont. Three dogs snore as the wind whips around the house. It is a glorious day in which to shelve our plans to steer a two-wheel-drive car over the White Mountains.

Though I have time and solitude, I am finding it difficult to settle down to reading or writing, and "no private space in which some male family member isn't sleeping" is more or less of an excuse as I have been known to write poems in airports. So instead I'll quote James Baldwin:
The only useful definition of the word "majority" does not refer to numbers, and it does not refer to power. It refers to influence. Someone said, and said it very accurately, that what is honored in a country is cultivated there. If we apply this touchstone to American life we can scarcely fail to arrive at a very grim view of it. But I think we have to look grim facts in the face because if we don't, we can never hope to change them.
Nevertheless, here I sit in a chair by the window, snowbound in Vermont.

The quiet truth, the hideous truth. Consorting in combination, these two are an analogue for many a Frost and a Dickinson poem. That is not a news flash, I know. But I am sitting here in my chair consorting again with those truths and those dark ancestors.

Says Frost, "All out-of-doors looked darkly in at him / Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars."

And Dickinson replies, "This World is not Conclusion."


Ruth said...

A happy day to sit inside with coffee and contemplate.

Maureen said...

Wishing you safe travel once you get on the road.

We're expecting another storm by weekend. Yesterday was rain and more rain; today, high winds. Someone likened the weather to going through a car wash - we're in the blow-dry part now.