Saturday, 4 December 2010

Thin ice

The unaccustomed city silence during and after snowfall. The iron cold for which our houses and offices are often ill equiped, as they are for the heat of warming summers. The halting, shivering progress on streets slippery with ice. The ordinary drudge of every day rendered abruptly more difficult. If you feel already that the whole thing is almost beyond you, that you're holding on to the structures of a life with sliding fingertips, the unexpected burst of harsh weather provokes intense anxiety. The slide towards the edge speeds up, the camera tilts, image jagged and splitting, the thin veneer of normality suddenly too thin. For hours last night, snow dripped off the roof, front and back, keeping me awake. The steady dripping felt as if the house itself was melting - if I slept, I'd wake to find myself lying directly on the packed, grey snow. Groping in the chill air for words, each sentence a finger of a hand to grasp.

6 comments:

Fire Bird said...

know what you mean - i keep feeling terrified the gas will be cut off, the boiler fail, the new insulation in the loft catch fire. Or i or loved ones fall etc etc. Hard work...

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

You've expressed it perfectly, Jean, and that's enough to melt the ice off the front steps. Keep the inner fire glowing, no matter what the outer weather.

Dale said...

Funny that Europeans took to sleeping alone in their freezing beds, and the Indonesians (as I hear) who think it a daft thing to do. You'd think it would be the other way around.

xo

alembic said...

(o)
And yes, "keep the inner fire burning," as Natalie already said, and as it is evident in the glow of your words.

jkdavies said...

beautiful descriptions, and a nicely invoked sense of "sub-panic" at the unfamiliarity of the weather situaiton

liliannattel said...

What a wonderful description, Jean. Some good then out of the unpleasantness.