HomeStuff2013 . 10Cold - Sketchbook


Sketchbook Story

It’s cold, everywhere. My skin is cold, the air is cold, the gray sky is cold. This coffee I’m carrying around is cold in this cold cup.

It’s not bitter. I remember Keats wrote about a bitter, biting cold. It’s not like that.

Numb were the Beadsman’s fingers, while he told

His rosary, and while his frosted breath,

Like pious incense from a censer old,

Seem’d taking flight for heaven, without a death,

Past the sweet Virgin’s picture, while his prayer he saith.

His prayer he saith, this patient, holy man;

Then takes his lamp, and riseth from his knees,

And back returneth, meagre, barefoot, wan,

Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees:

The sculptur’d dead, on each side, seem to freeze,

Emprison’d in black, purgatorial rails:

Knights, ladies, praying in dumb orat’ries,

He passeth by; and his weak spirit fails

To think how they may ache in icy hoods and mails.

It’s quiet, too.

Something seems wrong. The cold doesn’t seem to stop at the sky this morning, to reach outward, or at my skin, to reach inward. It’s in my bones. It’s everywhere.

It was a mistake to let this get inside me, whatever it is. Maybe it’s just the seasons changing, and the change is catching me unprepared. If that’s it, I can’t heat up the world. If this is something else, something I haven’t put my finger on, I can’t metaphorically heat up the world, either. But these are my bones, and I want them hot.

So — Forget the cold and the quiet. I pick a different path.

I just looked outside, I guess for the first time today. The sky is bright, blue, and clear — not gray.



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