March 19th, 2014 (Defrosting)

by Steven Townshend

Coldest of the Cold
Coldest of the Cold


The snow melted at last. We watched it melt day by day as the branches of the little tree in front of our place began to emerge one knobby twig at a time. I painted in the kitchen as a full moon shone through the window. I declared the two-month search for the teaspoon an unrecoverable loss, and purchased a new set of magnetic teaspoons that are freaking amazing (and hopefully will stick together, preventing further loss). The project’s begun to wear me down, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve started over a few times. Time to switch gears.


It was a long winter. The coldest on record, and nearly the snowiest. For me it was a winter where I stayed indoors most of the time and just tried to bear it out. I lost weight, and my fingers became thin enough that my ring began to slip if I wasn’t careful. I’ve felt asleep for most of the winter and fall, in hibernation as big life changes roll over like thunderclouds. The past few days I’ve felt awake again. More engaged. As if I can see farther down the road ahead when just yesterday it was covered in fog and snow.


The next few months I’ll fill my time with freelance projects again. There’s not much to say about them now, except that they’ll keep me busy. As with the beginning of every new project I’m both excited and anxious.


I began A World Undone, by G.J. Meyer. It’s an account of World War I from every angle. It examines the human reasons and motivations behind the decisions that were made, and what became of those decisions and how they impacted events. So far it’s one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read (actually, listened to–I’m listening to it on audiobook, read by the late great Robin Sachs).


Do you ever notice that when you set out toward a purpose or goal, you progress in virtually every other direction but toward that goal? At the end of the day, you can bemoan not having fulfilled your goal, while simultaneously surrounded by all the numerous things that you did achieve.