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I CAN SEE SPRING FROM HERE
There's vaseline on the winter lens, everything is airbrushed in a vaporous and peripheral veil, a shadow fog teasing the eye. The fields down the long hill are mottled, a snowmelt, no-melt zone of loamy chocolate earth, frozen-in-motion sprouts of rapeseed, sugarbeets, alfalfa green against the spangled white of the snow crisps. All along the edges of the roadways, exhaust has pitted and etched a poisonous lace pattern. It makes me literally sick to my stomach to think too hard about that black sludge seeping down into the earth, into the water, into the grain. The snow is only momentarily immaculate. The moment when it falls begins its transformation; the earth wearily waves an ever-dirtier white flag: it's surrendering.

Every article I read drives the knife a little deeper: glaciers vanished, coral bleached and dying, where have all the rhinos gone? A friend in the hotel business tells me they have a hard time getting hold of plastic garbage bags now; it seems all the stock is purchased in Asia before it can even make its way west. A country of billions discovers the usefulness of plastic and resources are evaporating at the speed of consumerism. We've had our time of plenty and there's no light speed here, it's all dark ahead. Faster and faster we whirl around on an earth we're using up. Do we think we can buy another one when this one is squeezed dry? There's no World-Mart, only a strip mall stripped clean, strip-mined.

Ah! How can I be pessimistic in the face of oncoming spring? It's rushing toward me like a train. I'll lie on the tracks and let it thunder over me, the roaring waterfall whistle ringing in my ears.

Image That Didn't Work, But Made Me Giggle: The light is rising, each clear day plumps up a little longer, a little lighter, a lingering loaf in the pre-heating oven of spring.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.* Anders and I don't do much usually, although some years we go out to dinner, and some years he brings home flowers for me and I bring home salt liquorice or some little gift for him and the kids. Last year was the most memorable as I brought home a busted foot and a trip to the emergency room. :P Occasionally I think I would like more romance in my life, but mostly I'm content with the status quo and the kisses when we meet after a day apart at the office and the lullaby of "I love you" at bedtime. He's not a big fan of overblown romance, joking "I'll let you know if anything changes." Even so, I can't imagine life without my living, breathing year-round viking valentine.

Martin Jokes in Swenglish**
What kind of animal stumbles as he walks? Går-illa
What kind of animal always looks good? Ze-bra

*thanks for the cards, Lizardmom, esmecat!
**Går (walks) illa (badly); Ze (pronounced "see") bra (well or good)
 calm
mood: calm
music: The Cars—All Mixed Up


Comments
(Anonymous)

"I'll let you know if anything changes" -- I love that, it's so funny.

Um, that was me. :)

After living in Hilton Head for five years, I have this image in my head that makes me worry less about our penchant for gobbling up everything, including the earth. Granted, the government of Hilton Head does a great job of keeping it as natural as possible without giving up tourism but I used walk the dogs and think, man...if we (people) were gone from here for even a week, nature would bust out all over. If anything, we're just going to take out ourselves, some plants and animals along the way but ultimately the plants and animals will come back, life is a force that is way beyond mankind. Although we try to play like we have control, Katrina, and the Tsunami should be great big whacks over the head that we're not. Nature will have her revenge, like the Talking Heads song goes...Nothing but Flowers.

Man, through the first paragraph, I kept envisioning a mug of beer.

What's that all about?

Tell Martin that his jokes are funny.

I hear you on V-Day. I think it's a holiday mainly for those single or sambo people to get them to buy lots of presents to please the retailers' wallets. Of course, married people can have V-day all year round--and sometimes more than once a year. But I hope you don't come home with a broken foot or anything worse this year.

"Ah! How can I be pessimistic in the face of oncoming spring?"


From this side of the pond early daffodils are poking through with tidings of buds read to pop soon.

I can't imagine life without my living, breathing year-round viking valentine.

Wonderful sentiment.

Now if only you could send the spring northwards....

i was wondering, do martin and karin speak mostly swedish, english, or swenglish?? are you fluent in swedish?
curiously,
liza.
[my mama is malaysian and my dad is english, but when we moved to america when i was 3 i lost all my malay. where could it be?]

It's in the back of your brain :)

Yes, I'm fluent in Swedish, but I speak English at home, both with Anders and the kids. They're bilingual and use both languages with no problem, for the most part, with slightly varying degrees of fluency. They tend to answer me in Swedish, but not always :)

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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