compass points

I am Upstate, North and West of The City; a bit south of the Great Lake known as Ontario. It has been cold at night, with sunny and brisk daytimes. Having arrived late morning on Monday, I feel as though many days have passed, and yet few. That is the way of being away, and one of its magical properties. My brother and I rode the horses in a small woods (tangled, beautiful) before dinner last evening.

Last night I slept poorly, many times waking cold and utterly compressed in my somnolent efforts to warm myself, like a bee in winter. The odd thing was that my room was warm. The room is in the mostly unused, semi-heated second floor, but I’d turned on the efficient space heater before retiring and was comfortable enough while I’d been reading. But in my slumber there resided some inescapable cold. It may have been the atmosphere of my dreams, bordering on nightmares, though I have no souvenir– fearful and restive; a need to escape (from what I cannot now recall).

A ghost, I thought for a moment when I woke (for once I was fully awake it was clear that the room was not at all cold)!  Or the result of my reading, then. An ambush in the middle of the night–  three phalanxes, surrounding and assaulting as the occupied attempt escape from starving within a walled city; earthworks and siege towers having prevented a sustained hold-out. (The book is Latro in the Mist.)

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