Saturday, December 14, 2013

an inward heat

We step hastily along through the powdery snow, warmed by an inward heat, enjoying an Indian summer still, in the increased glow of thought and feeling. 
Probably if our lives were more conformed to nature, we should not need to defend ourselves against her heats and colds, but find her our constant nurse and friend, as do plants and quadrupeds.

— Henry David Thoreau, A Winter Walk, 1843


  1. it's warming to see you here again:)))

    this is interesting to me. just last night my son asked me why jack frost is always seen in a negative light. i told him (not really knowing the history but guessing) i think it must be because things die back in winter, food is (for the time being) no longer produced, and people suffer with the cold, struggle to stay warm. his response was that that was foolish. winter and cold are the most natural of things.

    through the throngs of complaining crowds i wonder how this boy is and i love him profoundly.

    each night that i go to bed i desire a lesser canvas: rock, snow, ocean, desert, shining honed word, perhaps alabaster, something akin to this photograph, something pure to nourish me.


    1. And to see you.)))

      I love your son, too! I am not surprised at his response (yet I am, also), because he is your son. I wish the whole world could see what a privilege it is to feel nature's cycles and realities this way.

      I feel and hear you in your desire for that lesser canvas, a beautiful image and phrase. This morning I read a line in Proust, once. Then I left to do something and came back to reread it. I did this four times. I think something in me wanted to see the spare simplicity of that chair, again, again, as if for the first time:

      Mme. Verdurin was sitting on a high Swedish chair of waxed pine, . . .

  2. ahhhh... i understand. i do. and i am glad for it. aren't we searching behind every illuminated patch of forest and every poem for that place trembling in anticipation for us to find it, that place which hides in the open but which, despite our yearning, we can not quite see?

    and i am thrown back by this simple reference to another poem, clean and brisk and precise, although perhaps not what i was originally meaning, but still...

    "I was the interloper who knows both love and fear,
    who comes near and draws back, who feels nothing
    beyond the need to touch, to handle, to dismantle it,
    the mystery; and how in the morning when I came down -

    a nine-year-old in high, fawn socks -
    the room had been shocked into a glacier
    of cotton sheets thrown over the almond
    and vanilla silk of the French Empire chairs."

    fawn socks! such piercing and innocent specificity!!!

    (from Eavan Boland's "I Remember".)


  3. Eavan Boland, ahhh. (DS of Third Storey Window first introduced me to her.)

    Yes! Those fawn socks, . . . !!

    . . . and the need to touch, to handle, to dismantle ...

    This tension of wanting and needing that place trembling in anticipation (!) and wanting to write, or read it, in words, or show it in a photograph or painting, is the most delicious tension. When the desire can be released, but also intensified, with the "right" words or image, when we know that something of the mystery is illuminated and deepened with our loving act of expression, there is bliss. Of course there will be so much we don't express, but just knowing there is this world of mystery trembling to be discovered, ignites hope in me every day (well almost).

  4. So simple. So beautiful. Right now I will picture this in my mind's eye...until it snows here. We still have temps above freezing, both night and day. Unusually warm at this time of the year. When it comes, there will still be enough inward heat, I'm sure....

    1. I have no doubt of it, Boots. You always find it. xoxo

  5. Exquisite photo... Personally, I love how you captured the paradox (tension) of stillness and movement: the wind swept looking leaf deeply still in the snow. And even the apparent tension of "opposites" of heat and cold seem "natural", allowing each one to exist within the other...

    And I am warmed by your exploration and expression of 'the mystery' as well - seeing it through your eyes and words...

    1. I receive your sentiments with gratitude, Christine.

  6. Happy holidays to you.

    A very timely photo and quote. An inward heat, just so.


Welcome. If you would like to say something, rest assured that I will respond in my self, even if I do not respond in word.