Long silence owing to life (and death) taking over.

Here in rural New Brunswick, Canada, the winter of 2015 has been what Siberia’s winter was thirty years ago. Now I know in my bones why Stalin and the czars before him exiled their dissidents to Siberia. Our new Siberia is beautiful (the stars look stunning in bitter cold) but it’s dangerous. Any energy you might have poured into subversive writing gets sucked up by an icy wind.

My partner, the indomitable and determinedly anonymous Mr. Bear, feeds me the statistics. Between 1 December 2014 and 1 March 2015, we received 13.3 feet of snow (that translates into 127 hours of snow removal using a farm tractor). In the same three months, we experienced 47 straight days and nights of the wind-chill temperature never rising above zero degrees fahrenheit. In northern New Brunswick, some nights the wind-chill temperature was hitting 50 degrees below zero.

It gets worse. On March 6, 2015, just north of Houlton, Maine, the temperature rose 43 degrees fahrenheit within 8 hours. Up until now, that kind of extreme temperature change happened only around the poles — in the Arctic and in Antarctica.

There’s only one thing to do in circumstances like these — HOWL.

Published by

Harriet Ann Ellenberger

writer, editor, translator; co-founded the journal "Sinister Wisdom"

4 thoughts on “Howl”

  1. Beautiful and dangerous–climate change heightens our coupling of these two about nature–they’re both so stark here in the mountains of New Mexico too. Thanks for articulating it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and responding, Susan — I never forget your vivid descriptions of the drought and fires in New Mexico.


    1. … and a poet whose name is somewhere in my boxes of old journals said something like, those who don’t howl won’t find their pack. Mr. Bear and I are lucky to sometimes hear the particular wolf call that means “I’m here, where are the rest of you?” It’s a poignant howl.


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