Textures in an empty backyard in Red Hook

photo of Sunny's backyardphoto of Sunny's backyardphoto of Sunny's backyardphoto of Sunny's backyardphoto of Sunny's backyard

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Our hopes such as they are, invisible before us, untouched and still possible*

black and white photograph of sun coming through tree branches

Returned from the snow farm for the last few days of the year’s closing book. Serene here, too— quiet and white-blanketed. Few people are on the sidewalks, chilled and brittle. The emptiness of the playground today: a witness to the mercury, its height diminished despite bright sun.

And here we meet our fabricated bookends for time, believing we can hold or control it; we note it and name it to preserve the illusion. All is change, even the end of things, like the dying year to be replaced or born anew this midnight. Supplanted by new hopes, optimism in the dark corner of the year. Rebirth, Springtide: a crocus fighting her way up through a crust of snow.

Her bloom and demise are written in the maths that make her. Only we personify it, make a mirror of her. We with our imagined souls are infinitely fragile. So we make of her a beacon.

We’ll wait for her in the darkness yet to come. We’ll look for her as we burn through the woodpile, stacked under the eaves last fall. And as we watch the icicles melt, painting the days toothless, mild, and green again.

black and white photograph of a farm house in a snowy fieldblack and white photograph of a barn an silo on a snowy hillblack and white photograph of a large oak branch and a silo on a hill in the distance

*from the poem ”To the New Year” by W. S. Merwin

The water pipes upstairs froze overnight

photo of the garden and field under snowIt’s double-quilt weather and icy lashes weather as the wind stings saltwater rills from our eyes. Shoulders hunched, we retreat into our hoods like sheltering caves.

Convolutions and subtext slip away like shingles from a roof during high winds. Faced with the elemental force of cold, our needs simplify. Just as hunger renders food delicious merely by filling a need, warmth does same after a spell of shivers; muscles convulsing in their toil of keeping the blood from slowing in our veins.

The simplification is good. Makes us thankful for the ease of milder days. Which at length leads to contemplation; to philosophical meanderings and resolutions. We will never take anything for granted again!

But we tend to be creatures of reaction more than of action. So, always the ebb and flow: seasons without, seasons within.

We will be relieved when the plumbing returns. In the meantime, we recognize the relative ease of most days. We hope the pipes hold and do not burst. And we wait for things to thaw, to soften even a little, in their intensity.

It snowed just enough to blanket the farm

winter trees in a snowy field (black and white photo)

The trees and shrubs appeared to have sprouted from a vast eiderdown quilt that settled over the viewable acreage overnight.

Happy Winter Holidays and snow days for all who enjoy that sort of thing!

There was no ignoring such a noisome spectacle

jack o lanterns on an iron fence

The severed heads had been put on pikes for all and sundry to see; made examples of. The unseasonably warm autumn weather made grotesques of each— death masques submitting to rot and gravity; to the punishments meted by the state.

Passersby turned their heads, and covered their faces with kerchiefs, but there was no ignoring such a brutal and noisome spectacle.

jack o lanterns on an iron fence

Some tall ones in the ‘Hatters

That’s what some few of we Brooklynites call Manhattan— the ‘Hatters*. Also,  Work Island, The Big Town. Often accompanied by a groan (implying the MTA, etc)

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time there the past few weeks, and it’s been brilliant. I’ve had to re-calibrate my perspective; always a healthy pursuit. Seeing my town with fresh eyes. Remembering why I’m here.

I missed my accustomed, promised Thursday post yesterday, but I was okay with it, fine with it, as I’ve been posting nearly every day for a month. Hope you feel soft towards my remiss as well.

For now, enjoy this dynamic of skyscrapers and rhythmic windows in the perceived (and sometimes actual) heart of NYC on a fine sunny day. Looka’ that crane, building more UP!

If you’ve never done, check out This is New York, by Miroslav Sasek. It is timeless New York.

.   .  .

*This is a Tara Lynne-ism.

Rain soft patterings on wet leaves

rain blurred trees photo by E DaggarOut the front window near my desk, the swifting plash of car tires; drips dripping off the curled iron of the fire escape.

Out the back window, where the trees climb higher than the roof, rain soft patterings on wet leaves; there is no wind today.

The leaves have not even begun to consider a change of wardrobe, as Summer lingers; couch surfing straight into October.

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(This is from last week, when it was still in the 80ºs.)