Posts Tagged ‘Snowbound’

Words Frozen Until Spring? (It’s All In The Timing)

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

I am in bed with pneumonia, taking an unplanned vacation from my life during a New York City blizzard.

With impeccable timing, a friend posted a quote on Facebook from Plutarch, which appealed to my pneumonia-induced-thinking:

Frozen“Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time [they] thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer.”

These ancient words make me think that pneumonia might not be so bad. As long as I don’t die from it. (Thank you, O science-world, for antibiotics!)

Yes, the pneumonia has jiggled my system; it has rendered reality ridiculous; it has produced middle-of-the-night-hallucinatory-conversations with long forgotten relationships. Weird. Scary. Kinda like drugs in the 60’s. (Though I was never a druggie, my friends always got a kick out of the fact that my vicarious high made me seem more stoned than anyone in the room.)

Which brings me back to the frozen words. I am staring at the 2011 calendar, on which “one month plus” of bed rest has been prescribed by my doctor. In pneumonia-zone, time is slower than the clock by far. So it is comforting that my thoughts and words might freeze for a while – it seems perfect, in fact – that they are frozen as we are snowbound in the city.

Come spring, when I am ready to venture back into the world, my words will have melted. And I will be ready to hear them.


A Childhood State-Of-Mind (Or) The Power of Blizzards

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

What is it about blizzards? That they’re so mind-bogglingly dramatic? That they surprise us even though we know they’re coming? I mean who isn’t talking about “the blizzard of the century” this week?

Growing up in New Hampshire, I faced real danger in snowstorms and pulled off highways numerous times to wait out hazardous conditions. During one such wait many years ago I found myself wearing a giddy grin and giggling. What was the matter with me?! My goofy state did not indicate a grasp of reality. In fact, I was fully cognizant, it’s just that blizzards make me feel as if I’m 6 years old.

When a snowstorm hits, some mysterious force takes hold and I’m flooded with memories: jumping off the roof of my childhood home into huge powdery snowbanks; building snow forts that rivaled castles in my mind; making snow angels and praying that the dogs wouldn’t… y’know. Those memories stimulate fantasies that range from prehistoric cave dwellings to trekking cross country in a covered wagon to – you name it. To me, snowstorms mean that anything is possible.

This week’s blizzard unleashed word inventions such as “blizzicane” and “snowmageddon”; blizzards can be a catalyst-for-craziness. Proof? My snapshot of a dear friend leaping barefoot through snowdrifts in a completely transparent negligee.

What a gift is a blizzard! If we choose to embrace it, it has the capacity to release the genius that is hiding in all of us. In this way it is similar to Theatrical Intelligence. Whether your dominant role (or mine) is Actor or Technician, I am confident that our gut responses to blizzards are worthy of our attention.

Why? It is revealing to capture that place in ourselves that’s willing to leap into unexplored terrain. That core of our being is often ignored in favor of our more practical parts. Finding it can be fun; sometimes even transformational. And you don’t have to have grown up with snowstorms to experience their phenomenon.

Next time a big blizzard is forecast, what the hell? Get ready for an emotional adventure – hidden worlds are waiting for you and your imagination to discover them.