Friday, January 22, 2021

January's Performing Arts

A rowdy north wind cavorts across the roof, rollicking through sleeping trees and shrubberies in the garden, making the frozen oak branches ring like bells. Icicles embellishing the eaves behind the house are abstract glossy confections, streaked with gold and silver and filled with tiny bubbles. Exuberant gusts dislodge pine needles, brittle twigs and shards of ice that skate across roof shingles, then plummet clattering over the eaves into the shallow snowdrifts wrapping the house.

Plague protocols notwithstanding, I slip outside for a few minutes and snap photos of nearby trees and icicles, chimneys and sky. Wrapped up and looking for all the world like a yeti (or an abominable something anyway), I stand in the wonderfully pebbled snow in the garden and capture a few images, try to figure out how in the world I can describe everything, the perfect light, the burnished hues of the icicles, the emeralds of the evergreens, the blues and violets of the snow, the buttery siding on my neighbor's kitchen wall, the scarlet of a male cardinal as it flies into the cedar hedge.

The icicles communicate the colors and shapes of this day perfectly without any help from me at all. They rattle, chatter and chime, sing Gilbert and Sullivany duets with the wind (mostly bits from Iolanthe), pretend they are tubular bells at other times or recite epic stanzas from the Poetic Eddas.  The Norse elements of their gelid performance are particularly appropriate - at times it has been cold enough here for Ragnarök, and we occasionally wonder if this is the Fimbulwinter, the walloping winter to end them all.

With all the astonishing elemental performances being given this morning, no words are needed, or at least, not very many words are needed from this old hen in her tatty parka. I can just stand here in a snowdrift with the camera, get out of its way (and my own way) and let it see the world without trying to impose on its thoughtful and loving journey.

Out of the blue, a thought comes as I turn to tiptoe surreptitiously back inside before anyone notices that I am no longer in there, but rather out here.  It is the images that are capturing me this morning, and not me capturing them.  It's a Zen thing.

1 comment:

Mystic Meandering said...

A Zen thing indeed! What a lovely description of your noticing... All the world is a symphony :) And your photos so exquisite, I can almost hear the chimes :) Have a wondrous day! I think you already are! :)