Ah, January

The month when my muse is so swathed in mufflers and shawls I can hardly hear a thing he's saying. When my typing fingers are tapped out, having completed two play scripts in the last year, and the new poetry manuscript lies fallow and unfetching, the first 60 pages of the novel fatten in imagination, but will not let their engine jump-start. When each new poem seems like a spring thaw, only to ice over again the next day.

Reading Mary Oliver's book of essays, especially loving her Emersonian essay on Emerson for its insight into his mysticism. Reading and writing and even blogging seem like someone else's habits, pursued out of a memory of habit, like a muscle once used for a ballet step that no longer can be commanded with any subtlety and vigor.

This will all change as soon as it stops freezing around here and I can get outside more often. The last few days have been California again, afternoons sunny and clear, the atmosphere so clear the disk of the new moon was a silver shadow upholding the brilliant crescent. I have been to many nighttime rehearsals the last two months, and last night's was the first sky that gave me hope of writing.

Oh, January, you are beating me up again, but not as badly as last year, because this year I remembered to enjoy the fallow a little. And there are always the neighborhood geese returning to the local pond from wherever they have been, early morning and dusk. If they can take January, I can.