Eyre and Electricity

Eyre and electricity

West House


Today I could see my breath inside as well as out. The power back on I huddle waiting for warmth. The sink is frozen, the still life is frozen, the air is sharp, my fingers numb starting at the pinky working in. so much for a willed productive morning. I will be productive watching to see if the pipes are burst as they thaw. I am walled in on the east, almost a cave, ice stalactites, like glass minarets turned over. Something tracheal about them with each diminishing ring.

I open the woodstove and stuff it full. I would hope this would make it warmer faster. I remember cold mornings at home. Not wanting to get out of bed. How long, once started, the fire took to spread heat past the cast iron. I should do as I did then. I should forsake this cold desk, glove my cold hands and curl by the woodstove.


Hard to imagine time is so short now. I have only just begun a ritual. I awake in east house. The sun catching my eyes from between the pines at dawn, barely rousing me in its sheath of ice. Then to breakfast and to the studio. There I stay until the light begins to pass. I go then to west house, (which is the last to catch the light) with its golden velvet upholstery, dark wood, red rugs and diamond paned windows.

Today I have lost the sun already, somewhere between morning and afternoon. There is no sun to set on west house today. Outside everything is a monochrome of blue. The snow breaks the even geometries of the architecture. The trees balance a white plume on each upturned arm.

Everything is so very still, so very quiet. There is a completeness in all this stillness – a contemplative world without need or desire. Wind and desire move things, create urgencies. They rattle the windows, shake the snow from the trees, press the cold through cloth to bare skin. But here I rest in this remarkable stillness.


Bejeweled pomegranates, splitting open in each festoon. They are like the heads of saints in the Fra Angelicos. Bare round monk’s heads, like apples. Each cloven with the axe of their martyrdom.


Buddha’s Hands are lemons stuffed full of fingers.


Another resident dilly dallies in the kitchen. I scare him off with the shriek of the kettle I am late in attending to. I read Jane Eyre on the golden sofa.


The esophogeal ribbing of the icicles, each day growing longer. as if the sky were taking root: extending its curtain of snow over each roof and reaching groundward. Soon we will be incased in a wall of ice.



Orion will serve to mark this month, this place. As Arcturus marked Millay and August, as day ended it hung over the barn, the studio, in the west. Here, each night I return after dinner to see the X of Orion overhead in the swath of sky that is framed on the east by the pines and on the west by the roof of the studio. I find the tiny cluster, the wee dipper of the Pleides, then retreat into the warmth

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