I can't see the mountains any more, and they're right there. close by. I could be in San Francisco if I just look at the sky. It still gives me a thrill -- what I always imagined in my heady youth: getting "snowed-in." I always knew it would suit me. Give me a book and fire and food and tea and I'm set. I'm a resourceful type. I always resented that they started and quickly ended a Campfire Girls chapter in my barrio school. In another life I may have been Davy Crockett -- ha! Wouldn't that be karma? Sometimes I think I could make fire and find water and navigate myself home no matter what. But, you know, why?
It's cold, and it's wet, but not windy yet. I don't drive but I worry for those who do, and worry when I'm out walking and cars are slipping around beside me. But, I'm like a dog in this. Although I don't ski and, for the most part, I'm afraid of the snow in the mountains and stay out of them when it gets like this, I'm sure I could get into snow-shoeing through some silent forest. I've got a silly ski suit I bought a while back; it's black ('natch) and tight, makes me look like a female stormtrooper, and not in a cool way, but it does the trick: wind proof, snow proof, water proof, leak-proof, breathable and it covers everything but my head. I miss my Peruvian llama hat with the wide brim and llamas on it, it was great for blowing snow. I have to go out soon, the sooner the better, stock up, mail stuff, go to the bank so I can get a bank manager to sign off on a form so I can get paid for Amherst. (That's the thing about what I do, I get paid a lot for what is, besides travel, about 15-20 minutes of work -- but I have to wait to get paid, and often have to put out for travel expenses first. The check is always in the mail, especially when I have to deal with Us and colleges.) Though, I know, I shouldn't complain. I know what it is to be out in the cold, wet, and hungry because there's nothing else to be done, or, it's out of my hands. What if you're in Greeley right now? And mama or papi isn't coming home any time soon, and the lights & gas are going off soon. Hmmm, I'll have to post where you can donate to families in Greeley...
So, me, I have what I've wanted, the life I've come to, here with my two fireplaces, gas & log, looking out the window at the flakes making Pound poems on the trees. Thinking about then and now, but in capital letters and some kind of girlish font. Thinking about people, too, friends far away, friends I haven't met yet. Missing. Dream people, too, those faces with their intense looks and touch who may or may not step out of the dream, the face on the screen, on the page. Age, yes, not so bad. My grandmother was always such a grand elder -- I am not afraid of old age, with it comes a certain liberation for us brown girls. But, dang, you know? It snows. Or it doesn't. And the long drought develops. The deep freeze/ the icy sheets. It all becomes black and white, as it is now. And I'm in my hands now.
Here's a poem after Rilke ("Whoever has no house now, will never have one./ Whoever is alone will stay alone." ~ R.M. Rilke)
The huge press of shadows
goes free, wind in the heavy
wine, a restless command
of fulfillment. I read, wander
up and down the sweetness of your
house: dry leaves blowing, a long
letter I will never have.
~ a summer day, 2005
Lorna Dee Cervantes
* now listening to Seal, "A Rose On the Grave" - "Did you know that when it snows/ my eyes become large/ and the light that you shine can't be seen ..."