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a tiny weather system

This was not supposed to happen. I was not supposed to write six times in January and then not at all in February. This is not how you bring back a habit or find joy in it. It's what happened, though. The opposite of inspiration is not expiration, not really. And yet I can see it this way--air going into me, air flowing out like a tiny current picking up dried leaves and blowing hair into lip gloss.

five notebooks.jpg

Those are the five notebooks on my dining room table, to the right of my computer, waiting their turn. One of them, I admit, is just an agenda, but I need to deal with it as much as I need to deal with the stuff in the other four. Their pages are packed full of my scrawl: ideas, lists, embryonic blog posts, calls to action. 

I have not been good with action lately. For three weeks, our house has pulsed quietly with worry. It can't shake this vibration off even when Myron's at work. We watch livestreams from Ukraine, reload The Interpreter over and over. (I can't read Ukrainian, so I'm stuck with English versions of things; Myron reads both Ukrainian and Russian so he summarizes other sources for me.) I go to Twitter not to read my own timeline but Kateryna Kruk's. I try to read other things but return again and again to this. Ukraine is not my homeland, but Myron is my heart and my heart is aching.

Saturday I was supposed to go with my photo group to a small town an hour north of here for a festival. A few days beforehand, the trip was canceled because it was just too cold. This is a thing. Too cold for Winnipeggers, the heartiest of Canadians and the most impatient with weather-whining! The people I know have stopped talking about how cold it is, how drastically far below average, how punishingly windy. We said everything there was to say way back in December, and we can't even brag about withstanding it anymore. 

I switch back and forth between held breath and thousand-yard stare, those sudden moments when weather stops and even a dog won't howl and the sky is a wrong color. I sleep soundly but dreamlessly. I immerse myself in books and the wise words of people who have finished what I've started. I drink tea like it's the cure. I feel the care of my friends like warm hands on the back of my neck. It's March, it's March, I tell myself. The great gray beast February is three days gone. It spit out my bones, but not much more. I'm trying to figure out if I'm supposed to scrape together what's left of me or if I have a spare soul left in a box I haven't yet unpacked.