Friday, January 24, 2014

Rapists Do Not Wear Snowshoes

Vortex be damned, I went out skiing tonight.  It has warmed up quite a bit, but we are headed towards another cold snap in two days, and I have spent the last 7 standing at my desk, stressing out about work.  I needed this, particularly after my platelet donation went badly last Saturday, and I ended up with a sore, bruised arm that hasn’t served me well since.  But last night I caved and took some Advil, which braked the pain, and I woke with a better outlook on my capabilities.  Long stressful day of working on a couple transactions my clients want to close next week.  I have pushed off as much administrative work to other firms and my client as possible, and now the remaining drudgery falls to me.  So while tomorrow I’ll be scrivening again, tonight I was skiing.

Layers of wool, and synthetics and silk, and I trekked down to the lake.  I tried skiing around the edge tonight - I would normally strike out into the middle first thing, but I resisted, and followed the less windy edge for a quarter of the circumference, then headed in to ski the Roberts Bird Sanctuary.  It’s only a half moon, but the clouds were low enough to catch al the city lights and make it bright as a full moon night.  No lights in the sanctuary, but I could see well enough.  It has been a long time since I was out at night like this.  I have gotten more fearful, and Lake Harriet is quieter in general than Lake Calhoun, where I am used to walking.  I’ll have to get comfortable with Lake Harriet again, particularly those long portions of he path that are far down from the road and dark.  But tonight all was bright, and I could see that snowshoers had passed through before me in the fresh snow.  I wondered if I should be concerned about passing through the Sanctuary, which was not likely to be heavily trafficked tonight.  Dog walkers and runners were keeping to the lake, where the walking path is plowed.  I wondered who else might be out at this time of night, going through the Sanctuary, and decided that it would be other people like me.  People who wanted to seethe scrawl of snow etching along the tree branches, and listen to the wind toss the high up branches of the cottonwoods, from the quite stillness below.

The tree branches snapped against each other like a crowd listening to slow jazz, and occasional squeaks of tortured wood reminded me of an anguished sax.  The snow in the Sanctuary was drier and I could glide much better than on the lakeside, but once I got out, the snow was wetter, sticker.  I learned that in sticky snow, I should ski wider, to guard against a fall.  I had the center of the lake to myself.  Stopping there, I looked up and felt vertiginous - there are a broad gap in the clouds, and a might night blue sky was rich and deep - the moving scudding clouds in the south, and the trailing layers of clouds moving in resembled reef contours falling away into inky darkness.  It looked like a sea-shelf, and I felt ready to fall down along the face of it - or dive.

1 comment:

Bob Varettoni said...

I was posting stuff online yesterday and today for a blog I've compiled for work purposes. It's on the same blogging platform where, years ago, I had subscribed to "Will You Land?" And now I find that you've posted two updates just several months ago. I was stunned -- and happy -- to inadvertently stumble upon my poetic friend in the last three sentences of this post.