The Sacred and the Profane

I’m learning, as I did when I lived with my mother on the literal lip of the Pacific, that like the sea, snow has a different character every day. Like the sea, it can be pristine or foul, and everything in between–the ocean can be turquoise to sludge-brown depending on mud and silt and weather, and snow can be the most perfect white you’ll ever see outside a Crayola box, and it can be horrible and grey, sludge piled up against the driveway. You could have a weather report every morning on what the sea and the snow are like today, as though they were people, with moods: the ocean a fussy old woman who can’t keep her salt and her sugar separate, and dumps two lumps in her tea every morning, praying it’s the right stuff, and the snow a proud former debutante, combing her furs and polishing her silver and forgetting her grandchildren’s names–but the kids think she’s beautiful all the same, and they always want to sleep over at her house.

You could have a book of hours, kept all your life, that tells how the snow and the sea felt each morning and each night, and it would not be a wasted life.

Today we have what godlyperspectiv tells me is called “glass rain” in Russia–the sun is shining so brightly I have to duck down while I type so the screen keeps the glare out of my eyes–yet it is snowing, flakes drifting lazily past the silver light. The snow on the ground is sparkling, almost as bright as the sun, and it is still so cold nothing has melted. I’m at the kitchen table eating oatmeal with brown sugar and I was drinking coffee–until I sneezed so hard I spilled my cup and broke it, just like a tottering old biddy.

And I’m engaging in that newest of house-chores–cleaning spam from the box. All I get is Russian spam these days, and I look at letters I can’t understand, and somehow I assume that if I could read it, then this spam of all spam would have something valuable to sell me, or teach me. It would tell me about the snow and the sea.

Just as well I can’t read it. I’m sure it says: Grow Your Party-Approved Penis to be Huge Like Bear! But Not Too Huge, So That Each Will Have Party-Penis Which is Appropriate to Their Station, and Not Lord Their Aristocracy-Member Over Their Brother’s Peasant Schl0ng. Three Legs Good, Two Legs Bad.

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