Dita Parker

Friday, January 8, 2010

If on a winter's night a traveler

One of my favorite short stories is Fitzgerald's The Ice Palace. I first read it in Bangkok one winter's night; winter in the relative sense. It was 25 degrees Celsius, tail end of the rainy season. Back in Scandinavia from where we'd fled it would have been 25 degrees with a minus attached as a prefix. 

I must be a glutton for punishment as I've read it on a winter's night ever since, here where the minus as prefix is attached. Not because it's one of Fitzgerald's finest but because it takes me back. It reminds me of those weeks in the Far East; of warmth and southern breezes; colors and light; scents and sounds foreign and familiar; how opposites attract; how charmed my life has been even while I sit here cursing it. 

Winter here in the cold makes me whiny at times. It makes me homesick and nostalgic. It awakens my wanderlust and sees these roots stuck firmly in the air gasp for oxygen, especially when the knowledge there is no summer swelter in sight hits me. 

[Reader, it is not a pretty sight. The only reason I can recount this is I find it as pitiful a state as you do, but possess a) a recently upgraded shit detector, b) a high pain threshold, c) a low threshold for kicking my own butt.]

I wish I didn't long this much or feel this intensely. The longing makes me feel like crap, like the self-centered, self-serving cry baby catching me off guard when the minus gets attached to the temperature. And it makes for shitty, self-centered, self-serving writing. I'm the first to acknowledge it and the only one who can fix it. Damn.

[Very unattractive, Reader, appalling, truly. The writing, not moi, of course; I only hide lest you become obsessed with my dark golden browns and this fit hourglass. A horrendous tease, yes, I know, my apologies. Very unattractive, this tendency. Appalling, actually.]

So in my mind I travel. I taste and I smell, I touch and I feel. Home, abroad, places I've visited only once, places I keep revisiting, places I've yet to see. In dreams and cinema, in art and in writing. They all help keep these roots ventilated, they fertilize and water them and help me settle down. 

Writing is my most reliable cure. Thank the universe for correcting an innate indifference and giving me an outlet. Thank the heavens, nature or the Easter bunny (what do I know) for giving me the inclination to use it, even when on a day such as today I only use it to rage against said skies, life and poor helpless rabbit.

I will always have that. Come what may, ups, downs, jolts forward or the inevitable downward spirals, I will always have that. Every longing, every face and smile and frown, every sound and scenery. How could they not be my solace? How could they be lost, dead or forgotten when they breathe in every word? 

This is my religion. My sisters of mercy, my brothers in arms. My weapon of choice. 

P.S. Reader, I didn't run from my Harry, I married him. Such is love. Transcendent.

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