Howl

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.

“Tree Spirit” by Patrick Nelson

Patrick Nelson,
“Tree Spirit” by Patrick Nelson

I love to look at this painting, and over time the tree spirit in the painting has become the guiding spirit of my writing. Tree Spirit plays for every being who listens, and the turtle (in the lower right-hand corner) listens most intently of all.

“Tree Spirit” appears here by permission of the artist, who can be reached at thegreateruniverse@gmail.com.

Desire Spoken Under a Night Sky

I’m in the process of migrating my old website to WordPress — please wish me luck.

And in return I offer this poem, to be used as a charm for difficult times.

 

Desire Spoken Under a Night Sky

May the earth live,
May we live on the earth,
May love in our life flower,
May the transformation be realized.

May it be stone that we stand on,
May winds bring us fast-moving thought,
May our heart bathe in salt waters,
May spiral galaxies light our way home.

 

– Harriet Ann Ellenberger (March 2014)