When I was frozen, my nose dripped and grew raw and red. My flesh thickened and grew flaccid, even though I stomped through the snow all over town and moved my bicycle determinately to most of my destinations. My eyes were raw and everything shocked me. If the lights were low, and they always were, I could see blue sparks shocking my feet and hands as I moved through our apartment late at night. I moved through the apartment late at night often because I couldn’t sleep, either my son had growing pains or I did. I’d stand on one of our small balconies and watch the sky for the northern lights but they never came. The hoar frost engulfed everything, and it was magical. It lasted too long, though, like my blue moods.

People have asked me about the winters. I tell them the truth, that they’re beautiful with ice sculptures and glittering frost in the air and marshmallow snow and inky blue skies with dancing stars and all that. I also tell them that six months of that intense beauty is like staring at a favorite painting all day at a museum. It’s so lovely! You look at it forever and ever, but you can’t go look at any other paintings. You must look at the snowy Levitan all day long.  No Gauguin for you. No red. All white. The beauty starts to mock you, so pretty, so unchanging, so white and blue.

I mean, yeah in April or May it melts and gets muddy and then bursts with green. But it’s a long, long wait to green.

Forest in Winter - Isaak Levitan



"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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