Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In the Blood

Illuminated header derived from the Lismore Crozier, circa 1100.

Winter fought a rear-guard action last night, but I know it is in retreat.

The first, most secret signs are here: in the surprise of sunrise in a pewter dawn a full hour earlier than before, in the sudden chatter of little birds in a cedar hedge, in the slow seep of snowbank ichor across the sidewalk.

One more ides until the equinox.

I sometimes think that winter invades my writing -- with sharp-edged, brittle words, with the finality of things lost never to return.

Winter nights are too white and the days too dark. In winter, I count my dead.

And I write as a pallid prisoner scratching crude runes on the cold stone of my dungeon walls.

Do the pull and suck of tides and seasons affect your style? The tone and tint of your prose?


stacy said...

Winter's making another beating on us here in Chicago, but compared to Washington D.C. it's been easy on us.

The truth is, I love snow. I suppose that's a luxury someone who uses public trans can afford.

writtenwyrdd said...

I suppose if it affects mood, it affects the writing. Winter makes me more introspective.

Bernita said...

Stacy, this morming here snow coats everything like static cling - but the average temp is inching upward.

More time to think, I suppose, Written.

Whirlochre said...

February has been a monster this year — a sullen weaver of limbo.

March to May is normally when I do my best writing, so I'm getting quite excited.

I may even permit myself a small leapy clicky heelsy kind of number — even if it means risking a split in the crotch of my jeans and permanent death for any nearby crockery.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've talked about this before and had a piece on it in Write With Fire. It's a great topic. I actually find my writing muse stimulated by winter. Something about the dreariness and cold inspires me. Judging from the beauty of your writing here, it inspires you too.

Bernita said...

"February has been a monster this year — a sullen weaver of limbo"

Whirl, that is wonderful description! Here's to heel-clicky!

Thank you, Charles, for the lovely compliment.
I'm afraid it is the passing of winter and the hope of Spring that inspires me, rather than its grim presence.

Lana Gramlich said...

The seasons definitely can influence my art. For example, I did "Spring Forest" as a distraction from a near-record cold snap earlier this year.

laughingwolf said...

febrrrrrrrrrrruary is also the CRUELEST month, just two years ago i buried my dad :(

raine said...

Most definitely.
The shortage of sunlight sends me into seasonal depression every year, without fail. The output slows, the focus isn't as sharp, and the subject matter can become...well, grim.
Irritating. There's more time to write in winter, since there's no work outside to be done, but I don't feel like it. Phfft.
But also feeling the stirrings of spring. Saw one cold, pissed-off robin this week, and the lengthening days are encouraging.

"And I write as a pallid prisoner scratching crude runes on the cold stone of my dungeon walls."

Beautiful, Bernita. Yes.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I love the seasons. I'd be bored without them. But it's nearly March, and in March I will put out pansies on the back porch so we can see them from inside!

Bernita said...

And a most magical piece it is, Lana!

A bitter time, LW.

"There's more time to write in winter, since there's no work outside to be done, but I don't feel like it."
That's it. No energy. So frustrating.

Thank you, Raine.

Betsy, I would prefer winter to be shortened by a couple of months.

BernardL said...

Winter has certainly inspired some very well written words in deference to its chilling effect from you. :)

StarvingWriteNow said...

I'd like winter a whole lot more if I didn't have to go to work. If I had day after lazy day to shovel the drive, walk the dog, and curl up by a friendly fire... it is, winter is more of a trudging time for me--getting things done, slow but sure, while muttering under my breath about it all and pausing every now and then to take a deep breath of chill air, hoping to catch that sweet, earthy scent in the breeze that promises "Spring".

Steve Malley said...

Summer's only just properly found its feet here in Christchurch, and I can't quite shake the creeping awareness that its days are already numbered...

Winter, I seem to do less of everything, writing included.

archer said...

Unfortunately last time I read the word "ichor" was in the Don A. Stuart story "Who Goes There," which formed the prototype for the movie "The Thing." The word was used to name the stuff that came out of the monster's eyestalk when it was boiled by an acetylene torch. I have assumed that is what the word meant ever since. In my defense, I should say I was impressionably young when I read it.

Anonymous said...

There were robins singing in the snow covered trees. What were they thinking?? If I saw all that white, I'd turn around.

Winter takes away the richness of my inspirations, I think. I'm stuck fiddling through archived photos to generate spark.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Bernard.

SWN, I believe I was a bear in a former life...

I hate that feeling, Steve! I want the "sunny days I thought would never end."

It's a word I've used once or twice here, Archer, and always in that same Lovecraftian sense.

Bernita said...

Me too, Jason! But robins are ever optimistic...

Yes, I do that too.

SzélsőFa said...

winter's a time for introspection, since apart from some walking, which i love to do, there's not much for me outside.
but i think as i'll be spending more time outside, there'll be more inspiration as well.

J. L. Krueger said...


I was catching up replying to folks and stopped by Becky's place and saw your comment about being the "Kiss of Death." So, I decided to quickly pop by and see how you were doing.

I'm heading home from Afghanistan in a couple of weeks. But I may be back early next year. Taking a breather.

Take care!

J. L. Krueger said...

Urgh! My fingers got ahead of my eyes. I meant Betsy (aka Sex).

Bernita said...

Walking is good for inspiration, SzelsoFa.

Thank you, JL. I'm doing OK most days.
Am glad to hear you'll be coming home. You must be weary. God keep.