white out

There’s a white out beyond the cool glass panes that sets the house aglow. Relentless. Quivering. Frozen. Michael, in his disdain for it, refers to the snow as radioactive fallout. Sometimes I can see why. The way the flakes fall so fast and swirling feels impossibly treacherous, oppressive. I hear a faint ringing in my ears as I sometimes do and I wonder if it’s simply a matter of being human or if it’s just me. Inside I’m somewhere between violet and smoke, a low rumble travels through my bones, my aching head. A string of negativity runs taut from head to toe, its threads seeping out of my pores like garlic. Everything seems to deserve a scowl, and the world, with all of its sounds and words and sights, comes to me in complaints. What am I doing wrong?

Some early morning skiers in bright regalia slide their way down the unplowed road past our windows. We can’t get out into it, I think to myself. Can’t feel the sting of a bitter wind that makes noses drip and cheeks flush like berries—a wind I'd happily welcome abrading my face if it meant playing outside with my son. Can’t catch snowflakes on our tongues or form balls of the stuff to toss at each other, can’t create a snowlady with sticks for arms and a pine cone nose. And those beautiful bell-shaped angels made in the shape of a child—don’t even go there.

So we stay inside—sequestered—as snow gathers like lichen on cedar shingles and burdens green bows. From somewhere down the street the meaty drone of a snow blower competes with the grinding of Calvin’s teeth and if I close my eyes I can hear myself breathing. And I know on days like today I must take one deep breath at a time.


  1. Stunning prose and photo, as always, although your sadness is chilling (if you'll excuse the metaphor). I wish that I could bring sunshine to your heart or at least make the sunshine inherent in it illumine that frozen world. I tell you what -- I'm with Michael. I hate snow. I hate winter. I hate the east coast in winter. It's one of the reasons that I live way out here, actually --

  2. we miss california so much. will be back there some day to stay. xo