The dog and I went out for a late night walk. The rest of the world is his toilet. It is snowing! It must have been snowing now several hours. The purity general, all over Ireland.
I walked along the still, dark canal following his trail and we passed not a single person. The unbroken white page of the path, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and now. Walking gingerly, in my ugg boots and pajamas. Snow fell in my hair and lit its tangles, snow fell into the hood of my coat. I scraped a handful an arm-length long of snow, showing the black German soil underneath. I hurled a snowball at a tree, black tree, the world a silent movie.
On the black water white swans lay like popcorn milling and distinct in the perfect night. The trees overhanging the water were rendered all postcard-immaculate in snow’s quietude, every branch of every tree the chosen branch of the chosen tree. Oh, the perfection of freshly-laid snow. A swan sneezing three hawking gasps under the stone-arch bridge sounded like a car that’s reluctant to start. Swandom: it isn’t all elegance. But they swim silently and sleep in a coil, wreath of snow, and the snow unlike rain falls so quietly. It is a powder and a liquid. You can harvest it, solid one moment then gone, on a night walk where everything’s blessed by the freeing fresh cold and the silent houses stand like mirages. Hold back your head, hold out your hand. After we turned at the corner I lipped up several little swanlings morsels of snow-white snow off the greensteel spikes guarding the soft white stone church. I thought, this snow is heilige snow.
A Swedish friend had come by earlier in the night and said, lounging back on his chair, your apartment is like a little boat. It has big white windows and outside no lights, you see only the stars. We came in after midnight from the white world without and set sail once more into silence of unending black water, the vast night, the sea of tranquility. Blessed honeyside of the moon. Winter has arrived at last and like the Spring rains in the steaming tropics it brings with it privacy, silences, long dark salty solitudes. I am a dormant seed tucked in my blankets and this tiny ferry still crossing the water, a little, led barge.