Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Turtle's Shell

File:Snow Scene at Shipka Pass 1.JPG
By Psy guy (Own work) [GFDL (],
via Wikimedia Commons.

It's cold. The icicles melted at last and fell, last week in a thaw. Maybe the week before. No time for more to grow in a freeze like this. On Saturday our lives took us into the countryside, and we watched the winter desert over the fields, around old barns, snake onto the road in a wind that had its teeth bared, tearing the ragged edges on living things. Like pictures of the Sahara. We said little but enough to see we thought the same thing-strangely attractive, like the deathly wildness in photographs of the great desert, but not an experience to be personally desired.

Today the ice is over the road again. The sidewalks are dangerous, the bitter wind and cold more so. My spouse looks out at a memory: a child in Poland, he stumbled on a drunk lying in such snow once. He was frightened--today the man he is knows that the drunken figure could have been more than drunk... dying, or dead.
I wonder, and so does my husband.

But Inside... ahhh.  What a satisfaction!!! All the time I have been away from my blog, I have been busy... giving life to a story, giving birth to a child... and sitting back in the warm shell of coziness and affection that cocoons us here away from the bitter winter, I survey the fruits of these labors with supreme content.  

I am proud of the story, of course, but the little family that now surrounds me is the finest work I have ever been privileged to be a part of. I have heard many a young writer (and some older), comparing writing stories to giving birth.  I can only assume they have no children.  It is a silly comparison, from the eye of one who is both writer and mother.  

I have felt the keen edge of Joy, and been riven to the core by a story's "eucatastrophe," many a time in my life.  There is a compelling magic in it, for certain.  But the bringing to life of the most beautiful and touching story, is simply not to be compared with gazing awe-fully into the new, God-breathed soul that looks out from a newborn's wondering eyes.  For that, the world stands still... the nursing mother holds a universe in her hands, and "ponders these things in her heart."