catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 10, Num 2 :: 2011.01.28 — 2011.02.10


From a death we should be glad of?

The landscape’s an event
More sea than not, that we
must learn to walk again
and trust
                what happens next.

John Terpstra
From “Our Loves Quit the Places We Bury Them, And Ascend”>

With a nose slightly dripping, cheeks a fresh pink, with fingers, toes and ears tingling to warm, I have returned from my romp to the bank and back in the dead of winter.

Pause: “dead of winter?”

The original Roman calander had only ten named months (March-December) with two unnamed months when not much was happening in agriculture. The second king of Rome had mercy on our race and gave the silent months a name, Januarius and Februarius. I do not know much about the origins of language, but I am assuming that is the reason why we refer to the months of January and February as the dead of winter.

Although, I am not entirely convinced that winter is dead. If winter is dead, how is it that my 23-year-old friend cannot resist the urge to roll a snowball in an attempt to clear the train tracks?

Is death the discovery of a naked shrub filled with a multitude of birds and their songs? Do our tastebuds flatten so that a creamy celeriac soup is delicious? Is the death of our words formed in white frosty forms? Does the color red against a white canvas speak of vibrant doom? Is the salmon-coated woman too brave? Do angels lose their significance when they are outlined in snow? Is the tearful delight in an inside bloom an illusion? Does Jack Frost lose an income when his art is freely shown in all the neighborhood windows? Is the planning of gardens and chickens with a dear friend only a longing for spring?

I would rather refer to winter as John Terpstra does in his poem “Our Love Quits the Places We Bury Them and Ascend,”

                        All colour is contained in white.
why shouldn’t we prefer to pull that cover tighter
that the late storm drops and the third day
liquifies, revealing the ground, its sample resurrection
of crocuses, like brightened memories,
                                                            purple yellow wakings
from a death we should be glad of?

We cannot escape the silent months of our lives. Even though the faithful sun rises and sets each day, there are times when it sets too soon or rises too late. However, it is in the silence when we often hear the most precious notes of hope and it is this tune that teaches our hearts to walk again and trust what happens next. 

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