It’s Wednesday. It’s quiet. So quiet I can hear the clock ticking. Occasional heaps of snow falling to the ground from heavy pine branches. There is something about being home mid-week that always feels special, different from time home on the weekends. The timing of this first winter storm comes as a gift — certainly not to those traveling or attempting to travel today, but to me, here, the gift of being able to stay home. I did go out earlier, to buy a pair of winter boots. And it’s lucky we went when we did, because two hours later the roads were barely passable, the slight incline of the driveway impossible to ascend.
Aviva is at her cousins’ house for the night, and Pearl is having a blast with her friends. It just kind of happened, plans that did not need planning, the best kind. And so I am here, inside, homemade hot chocolate to my left and Mani working to my right.
It’s the kind of quiet that almost feels blasphemous to interrupt with words, even ones on the screen that make noise only in my head and through my fingers tapping quickly against the keyboard. And still, I come here to write, though I do not know what I have to say. Sometimes it’s like this, the outer quiet–a train passing by now, not a mile from here–mirrors a kind of inner quiet. The world outside my windows slowly being covered up by snow.
I was going to write. A blog post, or a poem.
And then the quiet overtook me. I read some poems, instead. About snow. Many of them about the quiet, too. For I am not the first to note the way a steady snowfall mutes the world. And I have nothing new to say about it now. So to sit here, propped up against pillows that will later cushion my fall into sleep, is all. A plowtruck pushing ice. Dusk setting in, already, not yet 4:00pm, grey on white. Even the white board where she writes quotes or intentions most mornings has been wiped clean, hangs blankly against the yellow wall.
Several people who have asked about the upcoming writing group have asked me variations on the question, “What if I have nothing to say?”
I have no answer. Sometimes, it’s as simple as, “Then, say nothing.” Sometimes, “Write anyway, and see what happens.” For me, today, I am writing anyway. With, and in, and within, the silence of the snowy day. Not about deer, or persimmon seeds, or permission slips, or walking the dog; not about slipping or the way even the water becomes still beneath the layers of ice; not about the world and how history keeps coming up from under us as reality; not about gratitude even, or heartbreak or hurt or injustice or beauty. I have nothing to add. And this, this is the practice. Of showing up anyway, not to parade something pretty or prove something worthy. Not to produce something share-able or win friends or followers. Just to say, it is quiet. I am here. You are there, reading. In that way, in this silence, there is a connection between us we may not even know exists, and yet we do, we both know. For a moment, this is true. And then it is covered again, by the next thing, the snow still falling, the phone rings, the ticking clock, the unplanned plans.
And it is something, this. Comes and goes. Like the quiet will go, and the snow, too, will melt and then fall again and be new and pristine and then dirty and then one with the trees and then water in the earth and then ice and flood and eventually, spring.
Image: Raceytay Photography