Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I love the way a piece of music has the ability to put a frame around a space of time. While cooking dinner (Balti chicken) I listened to Rosalyn Tureck play Bach's Goldberg Variations (I'm tempted here to write "Goldenberg" Variations or "Goldbug" Variations). Just when I was ready to sit down and let the cardamom pods and the garam masala do their work, the CD was over. Next it's on to Simone Dinnerstein's rendition of the same. Paul just ordered tix for us to hear her at Meany Hall later this month....I anticipate a dreamy evening. I'm considering getting the sheet music for this -- don't know why I don't have it yet, except that it's one of those Famous Things (as in Glenn Gould) and I tend to steer clear of such.


January has always been a beast of a month on my calendar, associated mainly with the grieving that comes after untimely death, as well as the polar opposite of summer's abundance here in the Northern Hemisphere. Every year I try once again to love the short days, the impenetrable sog and pervasive grey. How many shades of grey are there to learn to love? Too many.

Not much work; it's the seasonal lull. Dangerous, this too-much-free-time. I'm routine-ridden, dependent on a particular predictability with just enough spaces between the lines to pursue my passions. So today it was grocery shopping, 45 minutes of yoga, and getting on with the business of submitting poetry for publication (odious task, that).

So far, all is well. A glass of Sancerre, and dinner asimmer.

So many winters of living dangerously close to the bone -- to the marrow -- dependent on a cupboard of stored beans and 79 cent bags of pasta, the odd squash, some plums frozen in a recycled margarine tub. It was never a matter of rubbing two pennies together as much as locating the single penny. I'm not exaggerating here, unfortunately. It's a difficult thing to write about, and I relive it -- and every other dank & desperate fact of deep winter -- every January.

But then I count my friends and my wonderful sons and my five quirky & magnificent sisters and of course, my dear Paul, and the measure of abundance right here, right now, is spilling over the edges of the cup. And the cup dings when I tap its crystal edges.


  1. AND... I've just been hearing that Seattle has its own Super-Hero in the form of someone called Pheonix Jones!!! You'll never have to worry ever again.

  2. Cro, ha! My son posted an article about this on facebook today. Super-hero vigilantism. Bad guys better watch out.

  3. so much going on in this post, T. While time has slowed and the earth seems frozen, your spirit and mind are soaring with the tasks at hand and ghosts of winters past.

    I'm glad your cup runneth over now, and that you have much to celebrate.

    Here's to 2011!

  4. and then, in my life, it seems that I blink and the months, the time, they all pass so quickly. I hardly remember summer, and hardly notice winter. Something about that seems wrong. Is there a perfect middle point? I suspect I need to learn to surf better, not too fast, not too slow. Not too vulnerable, but not so consumed. Hmmmm.... Perhaps a New Year's Resolution brewing? But your structure, your routine, well, they are rapidly approaching, so enjoy this time, as best you can! Because... there is RED! to be made and shipped. And then The Show to prepare for, and then... well, an entire year of work. If we are so fortunate!

  5. music and cooking; that's what winter is all about...
    simmering away, waiting for spring. (and thanx for reminding me--i need to find out if the new glen gould film is rentable yet...)

  6. Dear T., If your winter brings such anxiety about survival, then I'm very grateful that where I live, the winter lasts a couple days here and there, interspersed with sunny days and bright blue skies. thanks for writing this sad and beautiful post. sp

  7. Am feeling your melancholy today T. Too many visions of desperation dancing around in my head.
    Trying hard to hang on to the abundance in my life while the wolves snap at my ankles.

  8. The ongoing challenge of gratitude and surrender...I am glad to know that you are well connected to your abundance. For a while, some years ago, it seemed we (my former husband and I) always moved in the winter and I carried a sense of loss and leaving about the colder months, Calif. cold, but still. For me there is a sense of being flung back into reality when the holidays are over. They felt like a refuge from having to be some version of a grown-up, however briefly.

  9. I know all too well about the looking for the penny.

    January in NYC isn't so bleak, though inside our small apartment the space becomes even more claustrophobic with all the needful winter paraphanalia that not only bulks out your body when it goes outdoors but eats what space there is indoors as well. Right now it's worse than ever because of the temporary perch that is the apartment before returning to MD ... so there is the suitcase and etc. just sitting out in the middle without being put away, the mess of three computers instead of two, everything just ... temporary.

    But so is January temporary, the bridge month into the rest of the year that we can't quite believe in right away.

    But in NYC friends are close and music is constant, and so is everything else, and everybody comes from everywhere else.

    Love, c.

  10. As often happens in this tiny comment box, I am moved and honored by the mindfulness of each of your kind words. I walked through my day today with bits and snippets of this ongoing conversation floating in and out of my consciousness: a surefire remedy for gloom!

    As Foxessa says, "But so is January temporary, the bridge month into the rest of the year that we can't quite believe in right away."

    And yes again.
    And again.