Archive for January, 2011


January 21, 2011

Inspired by Charles Dickens and stolen from many, many others

Snow is falling upon Ithaca. Thin, silver, crystallized particles fall without beginning and settle on the cars, the roads, the few people wandering the streets. Endless flakes trapeze down from the night and cover the town in a powder so thin it would blow away with a breath of wind – and yet it stays. The emptiness, the loneliness of a dark winter’s night is filled with a million dancers, illuminated by the streetlights that stand, faint and subdued, over this wonderland scene. People try to stop smiling, but they can’t. Snow is falling, just like in the stories.

Snow is falling from high, immeasurable planes where luminiferous clouds touch mountains whose names are unpronounceable. Snow is falling from wild skies where fish swim through electric currents and listen to the songs that come from down below. Snow is falling over a village on Christmas eve, cast into darkness and merry confusion as the devil has stolen the moon. Snow is falling over a large, sprawling city, where three homeless friends discover a lost child and become a family for one night. Snow is falling over the Endless Plane around the Castle, where a Lady waits for a Mad Prince, waits and grows Mad herself. Snow is falling soft like the plinking of piano keys, pure like mithril, inevitable like gravity. Snow is falling.

Snow is falling on us, covering us with a blanket of magic and reverie. We see the special in the everyday, and sometimes, if we are truly lucky, we see the everyday in the special. We look at the people around us, hiding in bars, shuffling along trying not to slip, laughing and sticking their faces up into the white deluge, and we know them for our friends. We say hello in the snow, and shake hands, and maybe if we’re going the same way we share a story, no less surprising and incredible than the thousands (millions?) that have been written about snow by omniscient, partial, invested, detached narrators and committed to human record. We are, after all, co-narrators every day. And when we say good-bye, the little crystals on our gloves stay behind for a little while, to remind us of chance meetings and friendship and love, of stories shared on a snowy night.