Before Winter Solstice
Hands clean, conscience clear. Shoveling snow from driveway recalls that task before the old man left for work, sidewalk before kids trundled past to school. Strong back back then, kicks into gear now, doing heart good. No brag, just something I like to do. Stack Florida oranges on sale this time of year, along with pomegranates, round foundation plinths, rising like the Tower of Babel, so I can say anything. Snow on key, cutting base of tree with wood saw. Watch her decorate with ornaments from African Museum in DC those first months of our relationship: four paper-mache tigers, two zebras. Handsewn musical note from Symphony Hall, when working in Boston, temp agency taking cut in wages. Matters not now. Stream Medieval music out of Norfolk, VA. Sip French Burgundy, while tree comes alive. Anything. Two Goodwill ceramic angels hold trumpets above radio, magically. Anything. Oranges & pomegranates form swirling vortex of Babel. Of animal joy. Uncivilized. Out of wilderness grunts & roars, howls & cries. Outside, everything is white. Inside, orange red green & gold. Black coffee & half an orange taken out of swirling vortex without tumbling down. Joy isn’t easy to locate inside, or out. Someone wonders while they wander. Change socks & boots after shoveling this morning. Just past noon, darkness looms.
Welcoming the Solstice
Bach in the dream just before I woke up, nothing recognizable, an improvisation. Appropriate, then, for Marilyn Crispell to appear as well, wearing the leather & brass headdress of Nike, saying she wanted to carve out an hour of Time for me. An hour of Time just before Solstice, now come & gone ten minutes ago. Winter’s here, light soon returning. This is the life I always wanted, including someone carving out Time for me on piano. More than I could ever ask for, but there they were, Bach & Crispell, welcoming the ethereal air & snow-covered ground of winter.