As the temperatures plummet in the New York area (and rather quickly - it was only last Saturday that I was walking to the laundromat in sixty-degree weather, wearing a t-shirt), I have had my favorite bit of Emily Dickinson set like a thick rug under my thoughts this week:
This is the Hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow--
First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go--
It's the third and final stanza of a poem of hers called "After great pain, a formal feeling comes." I'm not dealing with any great pain right now, but I think we probably spend a lot of time fumbling with the pieces of our lives, frustrated that we can't control everything. In the midst of this, I have always apprecaited the sentiment that there are some pieces that aren't going to fit, and some questions in our lives to which there are no answers. In recognizing this, we establish a connection that wasn't there a second ago, which is always the point, anyway.
Postscript: the last bit of that poem serves as the inspirition for the Bonnie 'Prince' Billy record The Letting Go, which I can't recommend enough. The perfect record to accompany a mug of something warm on a quiet winter evening. In fact, I just figured out what I'm going to do tonight.