Sunday, December 21, 2014

Softly carbonated blue and mornings

Gray and light gray and blue. There’s a patch of white and yellow where the sun is already too high in the sky for it to be 7:30 in the morning. Here in Portland I see so little of the sun, its transverse short and hidden by the low stone wall of winter clouds.

I’ve been waking up so early recently. 6 am and my eyes will spring open, not gradually, and I think, I could go back to sleep, but I can’t. There’s no more sleep to be had. So I read. And I make coffee. I have a little breakfast. I shower and am still late to work.

In the past it has always been hard to wake up in the winter, wake up into the dark still, up out of bed in to that morning air that always the frostiest. Morning cold is always the worst cold. People talk about the comforts they like most in the winter, the things they depend on to propel them through these chilly mornings: slippers, carpeted floors, the heater in the bathroom, the automatic setting on the coffee maker. The northern hemisphere is focused on Christmas and the promise of heated floors for everyone.

It’s actually not that cold this morning. There’s something spring-like about the weather: wet and chilly but not frigid, the morning blue and green. It’s just the Pacific Northwest. Even with global warming, the Pacific Northwest is just like this, the weather unpredictable at times, and some days are mysteriously lovely and springlike even when your brain tells you it’s Christmas and it should be snowing.

When I woke up, I stared out the window through the laced and crisscrossed blue black fingers of the cedar outside my window. Dark against the ambient morning blue, watching it wave, framed by the window, I often find myself expecting some mysterious shadowbox play to begin, its characters rising up out of the dark lines of those branches.

I felt like a kid. I felt like it was spring, and I felt that giddiness that you sometimes feel on spring mornings. It’s a very particular feeling that I associate with some very particular morning when I was seventeen. I can’t remember that morning anymore but I can feel it, right there on the edge of memory. A day that I can never recall but have almost remembered on so many days of my life so that I remember the almost remembering more than I can remember that exact day in my youth. It’s like the bubbling and popping of the brain on Zoloft when everything feels connected in an unspecified, fuzzy, carbonated way.

It’s just a little taste, a little tease. We’ll have some good days, some warm days in February. And we will have a lot of rain. It’ll rain until July. It will rain today and get a bit blustery and it will feel like winter again when we go out of the house to get our errands done. But I’ll find this day again, in late May or June, when the crocuses are blooming and the garden can’t wait for summer, and I’ll remember that I always already almost have remembered this memory before.

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