Sunday, December 6, 2009


An extremely unseasonable warm spell swept over Interior Alaska these last couple of days. It's just above freezing now, and the snow is melting and sliding out of the trees and off the roof. Kayt reports that a Big Car (read: American make) was unable to make it up the hill at the top of our road. Paths, parking lots, roads, and sidewalks are slippery. We've only had one spot of extreme cold, two weeks ago, when it was 35 below. So this warm spell seems strange, out of place, and not entirely welcome. In a few weeks, we would bless this kind of warmth, but we are not yet cold weary. In fact, the warm seems a bit ominous. Especially with the Copenhagen climate summit focusing global attention on the problematics of climate change...

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I am tangled by despair. Toklas has been gone for six weeks four days, and I am cast adrift. Tomorrows come and go. The sun rises for its brief sojourn across the southern horizon and then disappears, swallowed by the dark. Students complain of depression, anxiety, and I think what can you know of grief? I am swallowed by it. You, you count deaths on one hand, one finger even. Me, I count in dozens. I don't have enough fingers and toes to keep track of the beloveds who have moved beyond my reach. Mattie's Pillow offers reprieve. But playing fiddle no longer soothes. The ache is too great, the gap too wide for music to fill. Tonight, I would gladly follow Toklas, eagerly go to a place where we could sit together once more, humming together in the dark.