peering out from dormancy

The recently sliced up confetti of old words sifts through my fingers as the primitive beats of old heavy music pulses in the other room. Winter is upon us, oh yes, with the wind and the snow and the sleet and the penetrating coldness. Every year the shock of how slowly real winter arrives here beats me about the head with a large stick come late December, early Januaryish. Cold fingers tapping on the keys, the chill of the glass in these windows, how reading in the sunroom suddenly means reading in the ice fishing shack. And how I become a grumbly old man, rug thrown across my lap, scarf encircling my neck, unwashed hair standing on end, burning words in my brain to stay warm somewhere, if not on the outer surfaces, then at least on the inner ones.

I still prefer it to the stifling madness of a city summer. I find it easier to get warmer than to get cooler. The lack of mosquitoes in winter thrills me. Sometimes I loiter in my front yard, teeth chattering, for the mere joy of not being eaten alive by those tiny flying demons.

The bitter cold purifies. Most living things die out there. Or go dormant. I go semi-dormant myself, though this state is not dissimilar from other times of year for me.

On cold days, humans appear on the street as rapid bundles of fabric. On hot days, humans appear on the street as languid loops of flesh. Take your pick.

I’m making good use of my vacation from the-place-that-shall-not-be-mentioned-by-name. In addition to copious reading, I’m indulging in a bit of paper management, something which I tend to ignore the necessity of for months at a time. This activity chiefly entails clearing off a desk I no longer use, famed dumping ground of mail that may or may not require saving and paper scraps scrawled with cryptic notations that I must now decipher in order to determine their value. But it also extends to shredding old writing: abandoned manuscripts, hard copies of blog entries, failed stories, and handwritten pieces that have since been either typed up or rejected. Destroying my own words gives me secret pleasure (well, it’s no secret anymore). So much of what I’ve written is dead to me, and I am merely finalizing that. The end of the year is a good time to do this. One desires a clean slate, at least on some levels. We are of course multi-slated individuals, and not all slates require erasing.

Yes, so here I am talking about the weather and my fascinating domestic life. It’s not what I wanted to write about, but I have not figured out yet how to write about what it is that I want to write about. Oddly enough this past summer was more fertile for that, so perhaps the heat is good for something after all.

Playlist for above activities and subsequent transposition into words:

Universal Order of Armageddon – Discography
Sleep – Volume One
Charles Mingus – Mingus Moves

Leave a comment


  1. I am a Mingus fan. I was a sax player. This is evocative of winter. Somehow winter has led me into a cleaning frenzy as well.

    • I wouldn’t have guessed you were a sax player (!). Mingus is one of the few jazz musicians I like, but that’s not saying much since I hardly listen to jazz at all. But for some reason his music speaks to me.

  2. taidgh

     /  December 27, 2012

    Sounds freezing! Winter for me isn’t snow and it doesn’t get too cold here. What it gets is wet and windy! Here we are ‘rapid bundles of (drenched) fabric’. I’m not a duck, I don’t like rain. Great to see you listen to Sleep. I love their album Holy Mountain. In actual fact, I love everything they did. Earth is another cracking band.

    • It must be hard living there if you don’t like rain?? There are places in the States that get lots of rain (mostly Pacific Northwest) but I don’t think I could live there.

      Volume One is the only Sleep album I have. Apparently it’s the only one they recorded before their original guitarist left to become an Eastern Orthodox monk. Fun fact about Sleep! But yeah, I don’t listen to much heavy music anymore. I still dig it sometimes, but I don’t really keep up. I’ve wondered about Earth. Maybe I should give them a listen.

  3. taidgh

     /  December 27, 2012

    You’re right there. Justin Marler left the band, became an Eastern Orthodox monk. Another fun fact is he helped start a zine, called Death to the World. It was made to appeal to rockers and punks.

    The thing about Earth is they aren’t too heavy, well not my version of heavy. They are slow, drone, folk and jazz. All albums are good, maybe try Hex it was part influenced by Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and it’s a lot softer in sound. You can also try another one of their albums: The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull.

  4. I try to shy away from writing about domestic life in that I always feel my domestic life is of little interest to others….and yet, nosey-parker that I am, I love to know the where’s and whys of other peoples domesticity.
    I’m similar about to you re:writing, I discard more than I keep, in fact sometimes just the writing it down, getting it out is enough and the deleting of it, or the scrumpling up of the page is somehow cathartic and enough in itself.
    Happy New Year to you!

    • I know what you mean. Maybe we all have a touch of the voyeur in us? I also don’t usually write in such plain-spoken ways about domestic matters. I’m usually much more cryptic about such things, but I’ve been in a weird headspace this week due to being off work for so long.

      Happy New Year to you, as well!



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