There is something very satisfying and important to me about the quality of snow. It can be at once both very calming and sad or furious and determined. Part of the quality has to do with the rate at which it descends – floating down softly in a light snow, or a fast and heavy downfall that collects many inches in no time. Today, the snow is almost drifting down to the ground and just a trace of whiteness appears around our yard. First the tree limbs become white, and then slowly the ground picks up the tinge as well. Perhaps because of the slowness of the flakes arrival to the earth, I feel as if I am being blanketed with a reminder to take one step at a time and the accumulation will happen eventually. “The accumulation of what?” you may ask. And my response is “of anything”. Writing is dropping snowflakes one at a time that requires a kind of patience as the words accumulate into a larger piece. I find that a certain soft quality much like the snow is at least one way in which I approach the paper to write. I sit in front of my keyboard and let the words fall to the page. There are snowstorm days where I can feel my blood pressure rise and my fingers won’t type fast enough to keep up with the quick flow of words that come from my manic cloud-mind. In general I find that even in the calm days of light snowfall, I have a tendency to not breath well enough. It is almost as if the anticipation of interacting with my thoughts on the page is just so intense that I loose the rhythm of my breath and get disconnected from most parts of my body, save my hands.
The quality of snow, although clearly present today on this early November snow-day, is present in all seasons in a variant. Misty days in any season are not unlike light-snowfall. They too are quiet and solemn and softly push me toward my inner contemplation. The weather provides access to parts of myself that otherwise would not be present or at least have not been paid attention to recently. Attention. Yes the process of attention is a big part of the weather impact for me. The weather draws my attention to much finer detail. With snow, depending on my attention, I am transfixed to a small spot or a grand area. In one moment, I might catch a single flake on its route to the ground. Beginning at the top of the window, I latch up to one flake and my eyes travel down until it hits the ground and disappears into the accumulated flakes or wet ground. In another moment I look straight ahead and welcome the multitude of snowflakes lofting through the air. The simple change of my attention to the frozen clumps gives me very different sensations. Part of the quality of snow is this flexible frame of reference, flexibility that is a perfect companion to words.
Words. Or snow
Irregular, regular formulations of sparkly light
that provide me moisture, lubrication of mind.
Know no cares nor reason to be – other than present
to the curvature and surfaces that approach as they befall.
Sparse or clumped in action, yet no deliberation
intended or even needed.
They just appear.