Warm Bodies in Cold Rooms

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had Covid dreams. Logically, I should be more concerned, considering the increase in local cases of the new mutation. I don’t know. Maybe my subconscious has played out the scenario so many times it has soothed itself. Or simply resigned.

It’s been below freezing for a couple of weeks. The house is a little cold, which means the bedroom is especially chilly – and that’s good for sleep.

I doubt the dreams are gone for good. But I’ll enjoy these deep-sleep nights for now.

I’ve only rarely gone outside this week. But enough to see the full moon begin to sag just a little. I’ve stood on the deck to watch – and hear – the sparks flying from the contact cables when the freight train passes. It frightens Leonard, who otherwise loves the cold weather. I wonder if the smell of the hares in the area sits in relief above the smell of the clean snow.

Leonard darts off and returns with fresh snow stuck on his snout. Darts off again.

Tongue out, tail high. I’m not sure how we know when dogs are smiling. He is definitely smiling.

I like to think it’s just the vibe, though no doubt there are physical aspects we pick up on subconsciously – the pinch of the muscle between the whiskers over his eyes. But everything sets off a tiny chain reaction in the world. The slightest breeze. A reflection of light. Particles. We have our own gravitational fields. We have more senses than we are taught in elementary school. Maybe taken as the whole of it: a vibe.

It’s been a long time since the vibe at work has been good. There’s not been a lot of smiling this winter. No dancing around the tree in the gymnasium. No New Year’s hugs. No Friday afternoon jostling in the hallways.

There’s so much fear between the laughter. Sometimes we reach out to put a hand on a shoulder. We forget. Then we remember. Our stomachs knot with guilt.

We dream.

I want to open all the doors and windows everywhere – and let the snow blow through it all. Cover it all – just long enough for things to start again.

in a dark cupboard
bread rises with its own heat
the baker beats it
down – and again it rises


Leave a Comment

  1. Thanks, Ren I enjoy your blogs and found this one particularly good. It hit a chord. I think opening al the windows and doors and letting the snow cover everything sounds good. When it melts, we can start again.

    Liked your poem at the end.

    Cheers, Jo Balistreri

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Oh, winter and snow and starting over, moments closer now, and I hadn’t quite ever put those sitting side-by-side before. Not like how your thread invited that point of view.

    And actually, a mild winter here, no freezing yet. Still, cold and wet for my displaced California blood. I attend not to make winter seem an unwelcome guest. And the flag of the pandemic is like light, invisible in itself. Yet felt.

    I LOVE the poetic lines as you close. No beginning. No end. Reminds me of Wm. Stafford’s beautiful “ordinary” voice. My mentor of sorts.

    Yes, begin again.

    • Hi Neil. – I think I have been very influenced by an interview I listened to with Katherine May on On Being Podcast. She wrote a book called Wintering – I haven’t read it (yet), but I think that the idea of the deep warmth of the earth under all that frozen stuff somehow grew out of her ideas about winter being a time of burning. I am still working with the images.