Inner + Outer Landspace

magnoliaI woke up today with a stabbing sore throat. Then I looked out the window and saw that it was snowing. Hard. I worked in bed for a few hours before attempting to rest a bit, then trudged into town to pick up a few things we needed from CVS pharmacy.

I stopped to look at the forsythia, the barely blooming magnolias, and the bowed heads of the daffodils. I felt sad. The roads looked a mess and the sidewalks weren’t cleared.

To say this past winter was mild would be an understatement. To think a few days ago, I had no sign of coming down with something and was running outside in a t-shirt is just jarring.

If I feel disoriented, I can only imagine how the birds must feel; they were having a party at the feeder on the side porch when I got home about an hour later, not even budging as I snapped their picture like the paparazzi.

My throat is still raw, but it has already broken into what feels like a bad head cold. I ate two huge cloves of raw garlic earlier, chopped up with honey. I tried resting a bit more and when I got up, Mani said I looked like a Nyquil commercial — and smelled like a vampire movie. The kids will be home soon; their dad’s going out of town and they’ll be here for the next two weeks. During that time, Pearlie will turn 10, and hopefully spring will return so she can ride the new bike to school — a birthday present from her three grandparents.

I have head fog. It’s arguably not the best time to write anything. And this isn’t the first thing I’ve written today. It is, however, the first time all day I’ve put words down that had no purpose, no prompt. They may not be very interesting to read, but meeting myself here is one of the things that keeps me here. Or maybe I should say, Here. In the existential sense. With a capital H.

Today, I had a thought. We roughly assume the seasons will go round and round. Yes, we are experiencing climate change on local levels in undeniable ways, but I don’t think on a really visceral level we necessarily believe it — the weather, the seasons, the climate — could really get to where we don’t even recognize it. Sure, climate change is terrifying but we still think in terms of summer, fall, winter, and spring — at least I do, the rhythm of New England seeped into me over the years despite how much I love other landscapes and places.

But what if it isn’t so? What if this winter-in-April was the new “normal” and stayed for months, followed by a few sultry days and some violent thunderstorms and who-knows-what-else? I’m talking haywire, people. But the “what if” doesn’t really matter. I don’t mean that in a cynical or fatalistic way; more in a que sera, sera kind of way.

It’s weird how a cold can rip through you like weather, changing the inner landspace, turning words like “landscape” into “landspace” because you’re too out of it to really notice till after the fact. And meanwhile, the outer landspace/landscape is transformed after a day of snowfall from the glories of early spring to full-blown winter.

In moments like these, I remind myself that I will be well again, and spring will come again, and nothing lasts forever. Not a cold, not the weather. Except love, maybe, and that’s too trippy for me to get my Nyquil-garlic head around tonight.

11 thoughts on “Inner + Outer Landspace

  1. em-i-lis says:

    Oh my goodness, I literally just hit “Publish” on a post that sounds eerily similar to this. Cold. Sad. Tired. Overwhelmed. The need to remind and remember that nothing lasts forever and spring in all its presentations will come again. Sending you love and warmth you Nyquil Vampiress. Good for you for showing up Here. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christine says:

    Leonard Cohen said it perfectly a long time ago…And Jennifer warrens sings it best… “And springtime starts and then it stops in the name of something new….”
    It happens here in Alberta ALL the time… Just remember… this too will pass! grin!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Janet Thomas says:

    Here in South Australia we are experiencing a mild to rather-too-warm Autumn. It’s not that I want our winter to hurry along but the long hot summer is discombobulating. I hope the cold clears soon, particularly your head cold.


  4. jensiper says:

    I often think that we have always taken the seasons for granted. My birds are a bit frantic as well. I went out and stocked their feeders and plugged in their bird bath. Yesterday a bunch of robins were eating something on the road. I hope it wasn’t salt. I love reading your pieces. So relatable


  5. brijens says:

    I read somewhere recently–I think Pema Chodron–that things are changing all the time, changing so minutely that we are completely unaware of the constant state of flux which is why we cling to how we think things are, even though change is a constant. I love how you contemplate this here, how you put your hands up and say, “what if” not fatalistically but in that whole acceptancy way. I woke up this morning worried about the lilac. I just realized this–what if it doesn’t bloom this year? It’s all okay. :)


  6. daniel says:

    Well, brines, I follow Pema Chodrin to a “T”, but the change she speaks of is the nature of reality (or you could say the reality of nature—ha, ha)—-actually, “true nature”, she means. But man-caused, human-caused climate change is a mass, self-destructive disaster. And, I know I had this lag, which maybe Jena refers to indirectly, where I thought it was all going to be later, in my grandchildren’s time or their children (now that I have 2 of them). But no, the climate change debacle is right now. Patriarchy is very bad, but the hierarchical drive for greed, for capitalist profit and corporate giantism is ripping all asunder and no one seems to know that, in this country, but Bernie Sanders. 3 or 4 months before he began his run for office, he was on tv with other senators and congressmen on an group interview show—-each spoke to the issue of the day (like gun violence, immigration or whatever). Bernie was silent. At the end the moderator asked him if he had anything he’d like to say. He said: “I’m very concerned that the earth is dying. I have grandchildren. I worry about them And their children. And when I mention this concern of mine in Washington, I can’t get any senators or congressmen to take any interest.” When asked why, he said: “well, they are getting too much money from oil and coal and corn interests—now 10% of gas is corn (ethanol), so they just won’t get involved. It sadly, terribly frustrating.” Asked if he had any answers, he said: “people have asked me to run for President. I really don’t want to do that. It’s a terrible job. Wake up every morning to a report on the disasters all over the world and what our military can do! I don’t want that. But if no one else will raise these issues, I may have to run. It’s just too important—the earth dying—to let it slide by due to politics”——so I have this endless discussion with Julia, my wife, who thinks Bernie is running to win against Hillary and I say, of course, but that’s not really what’s going on. He’s raising issues. And the same movement on the ground—from below, from people—brought about the Occupy movement, which spread like wildfire across the country (until brutally stopped). Now Bernie. “Something’s Happening Here, and It’s Not Exactly Clear” as CS&N sang. Yes, there are changes coming along, but not from big politics……….and, of course, I wish that you, Jena, will find health again soon, but maybe to rest a little—–sometimes a cold comes to give you a chance to rest.



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