that highway feeling, the clearing of the cobwebs.
I have been thinking about seasons with people, seasoning with someone the first time (cardamom, ginger, paprika, aside) and how the first winter is something special that always rewrites winter anew, and fall, favorite season, only made more lovely by the shared color of leaves.
Of leaves: there is this. It's been a long time since I had more than a season with a someone. My first Columbus friend was a late-February find and by summer, gone. This past summer had me waiting to winter-away with someone and now it's cold. And I am thinking of the seasons in Alabama, how smoothly they glided one into the next and how hard so many things were, but the constant months of Riverside Drive, the knowledge that winter would come and no one would go, seems to me now a kind of crazy paradise of riches.
So it's the characters, frozen in place and waiting that I have been turning back to these days. Naomi: laughing when one story opens and laughing still, I have been unable to find her a way out. Elsa, based on a dream-name of a child someone and I never had, and a woman, no younger than eighty-something, but luminous--I mean it--whom I saw in a wonderful, funky movie theatre in Atlanta and who began The Things that Rain Touches in me so many years ago. I have returned to it, armed with a friend's story of her own great-aunt and a way to finish. And these new stories: some stardust in their dust motes, I can feel it. And the novel, the essays: all my life's work and all backburnered while the world and its flimsy characters runs my months through a wringer and for what? Not enough. I am feeling that conviction again to silence the phone and winter-in with the only people I am certain will hold to their words.