Thursday, April 16, 2009

That's what Francie imagined

It had been a long evening and I was planning on retiring well before midnight. Andy is away, and it's been insufferably, dramatically long already. I still have three days to go, and didn't want to think about it, so I brushed my teeth bloody and put my cloudy retainer in (my command to myself that when there is a retainer, there is no more eating, and when there is no more eating, there is sleeping) and got into bed. Well, it's been snowing all day. My light wooden blinds have been pushed up and my creamy curtains pushed aside to let in the whitish light of the fat flakes falling hurriedly past my window. I resented this snow this morning as I was driving to lunch, and as I walked through Riverwoods, I stomped my feet in a black mood at the feathery downpour that was causing me to walk with my head down and a little less color in my step.

Tonight, after the retainer ritual, my parents arrived home from the temple very late and offered me some tea. I love tea. Especially Sleepytime. A nice pale gold Sleepytime tea with my parents sounded pretty soothing to my restless, unsoothed self, so I popped my retainer out unceremoniously and allowed my mother to make me a cup. As I went upstairs to pick up a grass-green sweater and some socks so I could sit in the drafty yellow-lit kitchen and drink my tea, I caught a glimpse out my closed window.

The snow was blue and six or seven inches deep on my piece of roof, and the Chinese elm in the back neighbors' yard that's pulling our fence up with its sheer titanic monstrosity was majestic to behold-- a shining, four-story, greyish-white upended king of a feather duster. Each hair-thin branch was dipped in a perfect cylinder of snow, and each of these thousands of sparkling cylinders was swaying ever so slowly on its own time signature in the downy, wet breeze. I threw the window aside and thrust my head out the opening, renewing my lungs in the pure sparkling air and reopening my eyes to be mesmerized and rocked to sleep by the rosy underwater pulsing of the royal Chinese elm. Wrapping myself in Jenny's purple robe, the one that hangs just above the heating vent and is always toasting, and pulling a blanket around my legs, I climbed into the sill and snuggled into it, feasting my eyes upon the bright shards of sharp lavender and peach light reflecting off the buttery mounds of snow and accenting the sky. The deep orange-brown of my fence was sheened differently, burnt, bright, shining in the glow of the green clouds at 12:30 in the morning.

I sat in my sill, watching the regal, willowy waving of the black-and-white Chinese elm, and I felt little, as I reached my hand out to scoop some snow up and put it into my mouth. I marveled at how tiny my hand looked in the dark as I clawed for the snow, and I felt little as I put its glittering sweetness onto my tongue and held it against the roof, so softly, while my eyes pooled wetly and my throat ached and I said a quiet thank you for this beautiful serenity that I needed so much to calm my ears and my heart.

Great Streets of silence led away
To Neighborhoods of Pause --
Here was no Notice -- no Dissent
No Universe -- no laws --

By Clocks, 'twas Morning, and for Night
The Bells at Distance called --
But Epoch had no basis here
For Period exhaled.


Casey T. said...

sounds amazing

Liesl said...

I have no idea how to eloquently say that made me happy. So...that made me happy.

Bonanza said...

Julie you are an amazing writer. I love reading your blog, and that was just beautiful. I wish I could have seen the snow the same way you did. Thank you for that. :)

alisha said...

you write beautifully. not that that is a surprise. and that snow is unreal!!

France is said...

can I please just tell you how much I adore the film What's up doc? and perhaps I think that is what your title came from? and also, you and andy? is happiness.