Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Living and the Dead

"A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

                                                                                     ~ James Joyce, The Dead


It has been a long winter, my friends. Perhaps the longest of my life. The snow has been falling for weeks and there's a biting wind that comes blasting down the hill in front of our building to burn your skin and blow chips of ice into your eyes and into your heart.

Our world is a wash of grey and white. The sky is exactly the same smooth, colorless surface as the earth. If you are so lucky as to find a patch of color, it is a feast for the eyes. Even the small scurrying animals and the hardy winter birds are utterly silent and vanished.* The only noise at night is the skeleton trees creaking in the freezing wind. I think their bones are almost as cold as mine.

Yet, a miracle. 

Yesterday, there was sunlight.

And it filled our living room with gold.


* Except for Susan's Squirrel.


  1. I so appreciate that The Feather and the Rose has turned into a mom-blog.