I spent the majority of yesterday evening curled up on my bed with a glass of wine as snow quietly carpeted the city outside. The wine was one of several necessities – including mint chip ice cream – purchased while the storm charted a blustering path through New York throughout yesterday afternoon and into the early hours of this morning. I will completely own up to my embodiment of a living, breathing female cliche. And naturally, in keeping with such a cliche, I left myself entirely up the mercy of my own thoughts – the thoughts you only allow entrance late at night, where they climb under the covers with you and curl up in the space of honor where your stuffed bear used to sleep when you were young.
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a textbook over-analyzer, someone for whom a single sentence can stand for so much. I wonder somewhat if this comes from being a writer; in one of my classes last semester, we discussed the potency of words within several of Shakespeare’s plays. That particular arrangement of syllables all in a row in order to emphasize some looming significance – this is the power with which Shakespeare invested the words he crafted. It is also the power with which I have always invested the words spoken to me, the power I hand over that enables them to keep me awake nights or to buoy me out of bed in the mornings. In my mind, words can stretch and grow like Silly Putty that has been imprinted with bits of newspaper, one word ballooning to triple the size of the others through nothing more than careless manipulation.
Thus there is something deeply calming about a powder-fresh blanket of snow to a mind like mine. It is like a clean slate, an vastly unwritten space for me to craft words so that the thoughts resemble nothing of those I left behind on my pillow. So I roused myself an hour earlier than was necessary this morning and took the camera with me to the South Street Seaport in order to capture the snowfall before it turned into gray city muck. It was all at once renewing and a little invigorating; with each click of the shutter and intake of breath I could feel my mind clear. I will never say that I am fond of winter but there is some magic in it that a humid summer morning cannot capture.
I fell out of a chair this afternoon in the middle of what one might call a very important meeting. The Resident Advisors, including myself, have all returned for our winter refresher training before the buildings open up and the school year begins. We were wading through a discussion about the rehiring process for the upcoming year, and as luck would have it I leaned too far forward in my desk in order to make a comment to someone – and teetered completely off balance. I tipped over, desk and all, and struggled to my feet as the room erupted in laughter and I waved it off as only one can do when they have entirely lost all sense of grace. I insisted, blithely, that it never happened, struggling to imprint a new story over the one that had already been written for me. The words failed me, and I forced myself to take a deep breath in order to regroup.
And the snow. I thought of the snow.