Skid into Winter

All those mornings when I danced inside the story of Inanna, writing and rewriting to try to get it just right–more than simple summary, but not quite a short story. And now, I stand at these death-like gates of winter, and say, “Don’t make me go in there. Don’t make me go in there. Don’t make me go in there.”

But there is no way out but through. More layers. More hot drinks. More time in front of the happy lamps. But Inanna relinquished and relinquished and relinquished. What emblems of my own power are required from me during this descent? This one doesn’t feel like a gentle descent, either. It’s a skid and a tumble. One day, the sun came slanting quietly through branches, and the next, the shadows reach out and grab at my ankles. One day, there was a pleasant and bracing chill to the air, and the next, the cold wraps me in steel fingers.

Okay, so I am being a little dramatic, but speaking the inner drama helps me to see it, to not get carried down the drain, but to acknowledge that it’s my feelings. I don’t have to live the whole winter in a cloud. The seasonal shift is much harder this year, harder than it’s been in a long time, but it doesn’t have to spool itself out into numbness like it does when it sneaks up slowly. It’s important to acknowledge that this precipitous dip into winter is hard, but maybe it’s like that clunk in my stomach when the roller coaster dives, and I can settle into this and remember how to appreciate this season. Breathe.


Gratitude List:
1. Remembering that I have done this for forty-plus years of my life. I can survive winter.
2. A new (to me) book came in the mail yesterday. Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Kramer’s Inanna. This one is even signed by Wolkstein herself!
3. The colors of oak trees. The maples have given up, but the oaks persist, and their color is so rich and deep. (I will try to be an oak as I approach this season.)
4. Biscuits. Comfort food.
5. Students and colleagues. Shining lights in the day.

Walk in Beauty!

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