Print Story Winter Wolf
Star Wars
By slozo (Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 03:29:18 AM EST) (all tags)
I remember the days when I was in China, living in the non-insulated concrete walled dampness of communist bloc building. Waking up early then, I would mentally steel myself for the splash of cold air I would receive when dashing out of the warm bed. Visual reconnaissance was required, as slippers had a way of hiding in the morning, when one needed them most. Putting my face near the white chalky wall, where in spots I could see the dew drops, it breathed icy dampness . . . and that wasn't even an outer wall.

I love Canada.

This morning, I awoke with a few beads of sweat on my forehead. The heat was turned up probably a bit high; but as my neighbour was constantly complaining about the cold, my landlord had acquiesced. This resulted in the mornings being a bit too warm in the bedroom, where surprisingly effective air ducts made it very cosy, despite not being fully open. I got up from bed in boxers and a t-shirt, and with one of my sleeves wiped my brow as I headed to the lavatory.

I will never complain of heat in the winter.

Later, as I left my warm cocoon, the still, cold air hit my face like a wall, and I entered the snowy world of Hoth. I was prepared in a warm winter jacket and gloves, but it still sharpened my senses and tightened my skin and cleared my nostrils with it's icy tendrils. I sat in my car in the half darkness, waiting for Violet to warm up enough so that I could see out the front window. I gazed out to the open, snow-covered fields to the west of me, their cold expanse inviting nothing but a quiet, solemn stare. All was still; the rumbling of the car engine and my foggy breath the only signs of life.

As I gazed towards the distant farmhouse and white pastures, I was reminded of a poem that I had copied down in my travel journal from a trip long ago. I had been looking up some info the other day that I had written down during my travels to Central America, and I passed by the poem that had caught my eye. I had been reading Steppenwolf, the novel by Hesse . . . a book that had not captured much interest for me, but one that had supplied a great poem.

The Wolf trots to and fro,
The world lies deep in snow,
The raven from the birch tree flies,
But nowhere a hare, nowhere a roe.
The roe--she is so dear, so sweet
If such a thing I might surprise
In my embrace, my teeth would meet,
What else is there beneath the skies?
The lovely creature I would so treasure,
And feast myself deep on her tender thigh,
I would drink of her red blood full measure,
Then howl till the night went by.
Even a hare I would not despise;
Sweet enough its warm flesh in the night.
Is everything to be denied
That could make life a little bright?
The hair on my brush is getting grey.
The sight is falling from my eyes.
Years ago my dear mate died.
And now I trot and dream of a roe.
I trot and dream of a hare.
I hear the wind of midnight howl.
I cool with snow my burning jowl,
And on the devil my wretched soul I bear.

I imagined a lone grey trotting along the periphery of the human landscape, still looking for his roe. I sympathised with the mirthless carnivore for a few minutes . . .

. . . then I cleaned my windshield, and got on the road to work. This wolf needed to get to work.

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Winter Wolf | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
(Comment Deleted) by debacle (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 05:36:51 AM EST

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[ Parent ]
It's swell to appreciate what you've got. by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 05:51:09 AM EST
Traveling abroad can definitely put life in perspective.

I'm more likely to bounce out of bed in the heat and more likely to huddle under the covers in the cold.

You'll never hear me complain about the heat either. Where did we get that?  Is it a Chinese thing?

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.

nah, I've always been keener on heat . . . by slozo (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 06:57:45 AM EST
. . . than the cold. Even with my northern European lineage, and living in the Great White North, I'll take the extremes of heat over cold any day of the week.

Once in a while, though, I do like the cold crispness of a winter day . . .

[ Parent ]
Do you remember being offered by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Jan 29, 2007 at 11:52:34 AM EST
piping hot tea on a steamy hot, balmy day in China?

The only people to get even with are those that have helped you.
[ Parent ]
oh yes, indeedy I do . . . by slozo (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 09:50:55 AM EST
. . . my first contact was going to my very first "hun dun" (won ton soup) shop . . . I knew no Chinese at the time, so I pointed to the soup, nodded yes to her question, and sat down. I got a bowl of greenish yellow liquid, with green bits floating around and settling on the bottom. I burned my tongue in surprise, as I couldn't conceive of it being that hot on a day when it was 34C . . .

 . . . the soup? It was excellent (and cheap!), and I was her best customer for a month or so.

[ Parent ]
Winter Wolf | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback