Let It Snow

If I had been wearing socks when I read it, they would have been found across the room from my body. In the Prologue of Verlyn Klinkenborg's The Last Fine Time, a snowstorm quietly begins:

The first flake appears and vanishes like a virtual particle in the mind of a physicist. ...

As the blizzard progresses:

... You can feel the way the heavy snowfall changes a room, the way it redefines the interior, making the walls seem closer together, the roof heavier, the insulation thicker, as if the house had been built of logs and chinked with sphagnum moss, as if you might wake up in the morning and find the windswept tracks of lynx and snowshoe rabbit running down the middle of the street, as if the street itself were a frozen lake ringed by a forest of dark hemlock and spruce.

And after the snowfall has frozen the city:

... When the wind blows off the lake, it can be hard to remember that close to earth is where the warmth is found. It can be hard to remember that the present is the only campfire in the icy wastes of time.

I remembered the imagery of Steven Dobyns in "Where We Are", and Sandy Mack's comment "Civilization is just one generation thick." — and I had to stop reading.

^z - 2008-07-25

(correlates: ReflectiveStudents, MetaJoke, FreshwaterForgiveness, ...)