January with Jane – 7. A Chair in Snow

A chair in snow
should be
like any other object whited
& rounded

and yet a chair in snow is always sad

more than a bed
more than a hat or house
a chair is shaped for just one thing

to hold
a soul its quick and few bendable

perhaps a king

not to hold snow
not to hold flowers

Ok. Here’s the snow poem I avoided yesterday. Because it didn’t fit the feeling of wonder I’d felt yesterday morning, gazing out upon this suddenly snow blanketed world as if seeing snow for the first time. (Does that happen to you too, my loves? Are you too struck silly at the first snowfall of the year? And by silly, I mean something like the way a wise man is also a fool.) The way it makes all things exquisite, drawing your eye to the intricate details of needled limbs and branching shrubs, rounded boulders and pointed fenceposts, the piled high rooftops of birdfeeders and graceful slopes neighbors’ porches? The way that it calls you to notice that which you walk by, most days unseen? The way that, of course, it

brushes everything clean,

hushes footfalls and voices,

lushes the landscape with softness.

But this morning, 2 images, one taken by my daughter-in-law just as the snow began to fall in the night, the other, snapped by me while walking to the post office for the mail. And I felt it -perhaps the poem in the recesses informing the feeling, I don’t know- that emptiness. The empty space that holds a body, body that holds a soul, soul that holds the divine….. one image evoking the next, the next, the next.

I thought of loved ones who face those empty chairs this winter, coming down the stairs or rounding into the room, being struck, not silly at all. The way that a favorite chair holds the shape of the beloved. The way the soul seems to be lingering there, absent its body, so that you can’t sit in it somedays as it feels sacriledge to tread there, and other days you can’t get out of the chair because its the only place at all you can feel. Enveloped.

Sacred containers enveloped in snow. Buried by winter. Awaiting resurrection of spring.

And then I thought about dementia, alzheimers– the pain that their loved ones experience at the empty container, sacred container, that once held their beloved. The blank stare, blanketing. The chair vacant. Where does the soul go when the brain freezes? Does it curl into a den deep inside ? Does it fly south? While we, the living, trudge on through the cold, searching for a blaze on the trail.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Marti
    Jan 08, 2022 @ 13:38:41

    “… a quick and few bendable hours ” Such is life.



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