Monday, February 16, 2015

Illuminations 2.16.15



As I write this, it is the morning of Valentine's Day. Brooklyn has decided to be particularly cold, windy, and harsh in the face of so much expected romance. All along the sidewalk of West Sixth Street are scattered flower petals, trampled, frozen, and made an absorbent bed for the morning's dog leavings. I want to imagine that a tempest swirled from nowhere, pulling the blooms from their stems, gathering in a maelstrom of organic beauty before finding their way to the iced cement. More likely, they were tossed angrily or the sweet-smelling victims of a violent break-up.

There are yet no crocus poking through the frost laden winter ground. There's been no recrudescence of spring to drive us forward with hope of renewal. Though, in this bleak and gray fatiguing season, stands a holiday of flowers and chocolate, and the eager anticipation of amorous encounters with someone inviting. When the full diapason of winter's thralls have been shown, champagne is poured among images of cherubs and glossy diamond advertisements. There is a pounding of leather shoes on the terrazzo floors of every florist with petals to peddle. Leather wallets open and the green skin of expectation is shed in exchange for the fruit of the endeavor. There is gold in the golden dust of pollen.

Still, the flower petals. The scattered flower petals dying on the ground, bleeding color into the gray snow. On top of the petals a father is now leaning over to scoop up his toddling daughter, preventing her from rescuing the scented confetti. He brushes the dust from her pink mittens, and leans in to nibble her ample cheek. Her nose is rosy pink with cold as she falls into peals of laughter. She's his cherub.

Under the cheerful gaze of the exuberant child, as she delights in simple bliss of the remains of forgotten holidays; winter begins to grunt and sweat under a weary life. Hunkered in our homes, we begin to plot new points to the end of the dark season. Under the flannel, before the radiators, we search for seedlings and sundresses. The entreating tickle of breath at our ear from lovers as we pull the last chocolate from the heart-shaped box, reminds us of laying on the beaches with gentle puffs of humid air across our skin. Leaning into the moist air, giving in, bearing a vulnerable throat, we welcome heat. Welcome love. Welcome Spring.

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