If On A Winter’s Day…

I love winter. The bare trees splintering the moon in their limbs. The dark blue rinse of evening. The pristine tracks in fresh fallen snow. The winter smoke rising off the sea like a benediction. Black crows shuffling apart on a snow-dusted branch.

I just hate driving in it and shoveling it. I love the poetics of snow. Not the reality of it.

Damn, summer trees are monotonous in their glory, whereas winter trees are like open books — full of adventure.

I’m not wishing January away — or even February, but I’m longing for spring. I’m just luring spring like a lover. It’s the romantic Welsh in me. I grew up on a hill with a view of goats and the poet’s chair, high up and unreachable for a small child chained to his pram.


New Year Revelations

I’m always the last person in my household to recognize the bleedin’ obvious. Just ask my wife and the two cats who prowl around me, stubbornly trying to get my attention to empty their full litter box.

I also apply one of Kurt Vonnegut’s rules for writing fiction to real life: the one about using the time of a stranger in such a way that he or she won’t feel the time was wasted.

Which brings me around nicely to the New Year. I don’t make end-of-year resolutions. I much prefer to make them as I go along. Resolutions are not time-limited (or space limited, for that matter), they are organic bits of the self that should be expressed the moment they kick like a newborn baby.

Which brings me nicely to babes. I have a new one in my house. It’s fantastic — even with the sleep-depravation and my coveted time to myself snapped apart like a pair of Gemini twins at birth.

My new daughter is my bachgen bach, my periwinkle, my Little My.

I love being a father; it’s like finding that man hidden in the mirror, the elusive, stubborn man who thinks responsibility is something that happens to others but does in fact happen to us all, whenever it is we need to love, which should be every day.

“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” Kurt Vonnegut

Listening To

Belle & Sebastian’s Write About Love. This is a fantastic album, full of glittering ballads and cerebral pop music that must be listened to in slippers.

Sting’s If On A Winter’s Night… Damn fine album of traditional songs from Great Britain that include carols and lullabies. It’s the best thing he’s done since Synchronicity. And perfect this time of the year. Plus the title’s a lovely nod to Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler.

Currently Reading

Henry Miller On Writing.  Miller is a dynamo, a naked wild man screaming “Yes” as the herd rears its nihilistic doomsaying heads until they like everything else is released into the same carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle. Reading Miller is like getting a transfusion of souls!