This is the time of year when I want to climb
inside It’s a Wonderful Life and live there.
I want to inhabit a world
where children believe that flower petals can be reattached
and bell ringing brings
the swift pronouncement of angel wings.
When the colors of the real world
begin to blur and crash into each other–
I long to retreat to a simpler place,
to a time that is less deafening.
When I close my eyes
and wish to instantly be elsewhere,
I see the bookstore at the Boston MFA.
I walk through the stacks,
letting my fingers
rest on the spines
of the books I long to own.
I don’t know why this has become my magic place,
my secret getaway.
I have very fond memories of being there.
Listening to Mary Oliver read her verses
or the sound of Zadie Smith’s lilting voice
as she gave a lecture as if we were her students.
These women gave me gifts of their words.
Phrases that I jotted into my journal,
so that I would always remember
and keep their wisdom close.
There was another time at the MFA
when I went specifically to see
the photos of Edward Weston.
astonished at the moments in time
that he captured and preserved.
Images that made the past seem
like a place we could visit,
passport in hand.
I have been humbled by the works of:
They inspire me still.
They help me to see the world
in shapes and textures,
contours and high contrast.
To deconstruct it down to its base.
To see the negative and positive juxtaposed.
To view both aspects as part of a larger whole.
Life today is kinetic and frenetic ,
passing by at supersonic speeds…
It helps to have a reminder to slow down,
to focus, to refuse to be distracted,
to work with what you have right in front of you.
If I am truthful,
I will confess
that I think the Ansel Adams picture hanging in our office
Much like the Pevensie children getting to Narnia,
I imagine I could step beyond the icy cool snow in the photo–
especially in the scorching days of summer.
Even so, the world I live in is not often hot.
We are more likely to have
snow on the ground a good portion of the year.
I love that the snow blankets the earth.
Covering up the lawn that was not cut that last time.
And the weeds that were taken down
but never moved to the compost
The snow creates a temporary wonderland.
When the fat flakes float down,
a hush falls over us all.
The palette outside may seem limited,
yet there are numerous shades of white;
sometimes almost blue
When the whirling, swirling dervish of December descends,
it is the basic simplicity of black and white that I crave:
My cat on his blanket
My dog on the bed
My son’s striped scarf
Our old vintage television set
The pepper and the salt
The words on a page.
Yes, just this.
The words on a page