January 30th, 2006



Overnight, all the water in the wind made the transition directly to the vapor phase, locking on as if the frost and fog spirits had taken a high-pressure hose and sprayed white flocked velvet on the southwest side of everything up on the hill. The fog hugs every contour and hides the world. The hoarfrost is half an inch thick, it lopsides the trees with white icing. Everything is suddenly blooming again...with frost flowers, the crystalline structures built on suspended and subliminated vapor. The trees have all aged and grown beards and ghostly white skeletal fluff.

I come home to a still and quiet house. Even the aquarium is dark until I reach down to switch on the light. After a few minutes, opening mail, filing things, and throwing away envelopes I start talking out loud to fill the silence and realize I am talking to the fish...who are in the other room. So, I stop what I am doing and put on some music. Katie Melua's mellow voice fills the entire house, there is no other aural syncopation or punctuation beating underneath...there is no one else to make noise but me.

Nothing has been moved from where I put it yesterday.

The house is clean

and quiet.

When the phone rings, it's startling.

I can't get through to Anders' mobile phone: a clipped and professional recording of a woman's voice tell me that "just now it is not possible to reach your number," which leaves the house feeling even quieter even though music is playing. It makes me anxious, because Karin just called and I couldn't hear her very well, and the phone kept cutting out, but when I tried to call back I couldn't get through again, and Anders said he would call me back if I didn't get through, and he didn't, so obviously HE can't get through again. Argh! All I got was that the kids went to ski school today and that someone skiied backwards down the hill and something about a hurt foot, and AARGH!

After half an hour of trying on both sides, HE finally connects and we talk for a few minutes, quick questions, but as soon as he hands the phone to Martin, it starts cutting out again. "I love you!" I shout, "I'll talk to you soon!" *click*

Joni Mitchell sings, high-pitched and melodic, but the house?

is quiet.

I have things I need to be doing, but I am not doing them.

I am being quiet.


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