Winter’s Syncopation

Week two of a new year, and still settling into a new routine. Putting every-little-thing into the google calendar, with the repeat option turned on.

I’ve been enjoying reading the posts on the poetry blog revival tour. I’ll be setting aside Thursday evenings to focus on taking part in the “conversation”.  From here–from this little desk in this little library (bibliotekette) in Norway’s little breadbasket. Perhaps it will be a way to celebrate solitude, but feel less lonely?

This week they are draining the silos. The sharp, sick-sweet smell of fermented hay cuts through the morning cold as we run past the farms. I miss the cows. We are running so early now, I miss the mornings’ convention of crows, too. I have to admit a self-congratulatory pride in beating the proverbial early bird to the trailhead. Having the chance to relish the quiet feels like a personal achievement. I hear E. breathing next to me. My own breath. And our footfalls, slightly out of sync – but pleasantly so. Like a deliberate  syncopation. It is too dark to see the lake, but I know it is there.

20180106_145518It is the inky-blackness beyond the dead rushes. Absent, and present.

I long to hear the lake sing again. It’s been nearly three years since it was frozen as far as one could see, twisting and thwanging in the dark like some goddess let loose in the dark to play her unique harp. Or to skate over the rings of ice, playing them like a warped LP.

I guess things don’t always come as cleanly as the seasons on the calendar. The goddesses keep their own schedules. Rhythms. Deliberately syncopated.


Sharing a bit of Steve Mueske‘s poem “Skating Lessons” from his book A Mnemontic for Desire. Ghost Road Press, 2006.

She is young, someone’s
mercy, bundled in the brittle cold.

She has come a long way accross the ice, cutting
her own story in the intaglio

of curves and lines there. […]


Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “Winter’s Syncopation Leave a comment

  1. I have recently taken up bullet journalling(we’ll see how long that lasts) to try and organise myself and my anxiety better this year. So I am not quite putting everything into google calendar but I can appreciate where you are coming from.

    I must admit setting aside a night to comment on tour posts is a great idea. I missed a couple of days and somehow there’s 80+ posts I have to read though, so I think I might need to be economical with my attention.

    At the opposite end of the earth here, the harvest has finished, the stubble is greying off and my nightly walks are filled with the screech of Barn owls and the odd family of Kangaroos silhouetted in the sunset.

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    1. Ah, yes. Setting aside a night. I have done that, but yet again it feels as the the exceptions are the rule. Went to a play last night instead of writing. Will have to schedule in some time for myself and “communing” at the weekend. Thank you for the vivid glimpse of your waning summer.

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  2. I cannot imagine using a google calendar–I am perhaps too wedded to paper in my creative life; anything online, in the cloud, on a portal reminds me of my 9-5 life. Perhaps that is how I separate the imagination required at my job from the imagination required in my writing. I suppose I may have to revisit my habits once I retire…

    But that’s a few years away. Meanwhile, it is inspiring to read of your runs and your observations. I doubt I will ever get to Norway, but you bring it to me. Thanks.

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    1. I use the calendar for details instead of a vague to-do list. If I don’t do it at the scheduled time, I don’t feel guilty – I just move it. It makes me feel less harried and overwhelmed. I still handwrite my daily journal entries and early drafts.

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  3. I love your lyrical descriptions of running. Also, thanks for the link, and yeah, one night a week should suffice. In fact, for those not using a feed reader, I think it’s actually the best use of one’s time to go down Donna’s blog list just once a week, since many participants don’t plan to blog much more often than that. A lot of wasted clicking if you do it every day.

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