The temperatures now plummeting well below zero & the snow consistent, with solstice approaching & the low-slung arc of light that passes for day painting the mountains in alpenglow. I think of rosy-fingered dawn when I, long awake, see that roseate hue bathe the sloping angles. & the closer to solstice, the less that light changes, such that the day entire (all five hours of it) is appareled in that same coloration. & then one’s days seem like a wandering about in a dreamscape the magnitude of which only further confounds it—the only thing calling you back to its fundamental, mineral reality the cold.
I’ll be bound here for the holidays after all, & won’t be seeing the flatlands & the cornfields & the palpable heft of the Midwestern grey sky spread thick above the prairies. Instead, it will be the quiet Alaskan winter, the dogs, the trails, & the plunging mercury. It’s hard to describe how winter here makes you feel, physically, mentally—how the darkness & the cold seem to spur such richness & an almost tactile sense of self-awareness. The heat of the woodstove or the draft from the window, the ice in your beard after only walking to the truck to start it. There is kind of physicality to everything, tempered by extremity or shelter from it. This likely has some significant metaphorical weight to it, should one care to extrapolate a metaphysics, but I don’t think I’m much inclined in that direction at present. & maybe that’s fitting—that the phenomena trump the taxonomies that hover auratic around our every breath. A fine reminder to keep undivided my attentions on the present.
& the present, anyway, still wears the sheen of some gift given. Though I balk at one or two daily details, I find it hard to do so convincingly. My cabin will be sold & razed, which puts me in a rhapsodic mode of nostalgia after what I’ve been through within its walls. But again, it seems fitting enough to literally dismantle the place that palpably wears those marks. & we’ll be able to settle into wherever we move, & share our space & lives, & build anew. Fare forward, wrote Eliot. Fare forward indeed.