First Snow

Thinking of Southern Sung Painting, Archival Digital Print, 2018

Our first big snow and the roads were bedeviling last night.  I left town on an earlier train trying to get home before the worst of it hit.  But Amtrak is not reliable and we were stopped for forty minutes in the Bronx because of a stalled Metro North train ahead of us.  This is customary now.  Infrastructure deteriorates by the day and our politicians dawdle.

Once in Hudson and heading home, the white sheets of snow,  the winds, and the lack of any guide other than the midline studded strip, made for impressive conditions.  I missed the turn-off from 9H but was able to back up on the highway since no one was on the roads.  Turning off onto my country road it was worse, but the sight of a huge plow blinking red and white like a happy Christmas tree up ahead was a beacon and it guided me safely home.  After feeding everyone I fell into a deep and grateful sleep.

All worth it to be able to live in this paradise.

The New Beginning of Darkness

The New Beginning of Darkness, 2018, Archival Digital Print

We turn to winter and the short days and long nights. The rains have been continual from late summer and leaves are layered and matted in wetness now.  Today high winds. It will be a daunting cleanup in the spring but no time to consider that. Instead it is bird seed enough, leaks plugged, getting a heater for the chicken coop, bringing in wood for the fireplace and printing in the studio.

I found the shed skin of my resident snake who lives (I hope) in the walls.  I dread opening a drawer in the flat files and finding him sleeping cozy on my Fabriano or Arches.  He keeps the mice down for which I am grateful.

In this interval after the frenzied election and so much worry, the calm of the time before the snows is a gift.  I continue to be a hermit and see no one.  But on teaching days my train friends are reliable commentators on the state of the world.  Standing there together waiting for the first Amtrak from Albany I cherish their bonhomie, quick wit and insight.  How lucky I am to have found this place in our troubled world!