Archive for Wallace Stevens

On Winter

The Snowman
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
-Wallace Stevens

Right now I am in winter. I have experienced an enormous growth over two difficult years that included closing a business of 15 years and significant health issues. It has been a difficult yet beautiful and amazing time which bore much fruit. I feel there is very little about me that has not shifted in someway closer to God because of what I have gone through. That took everything I had. Now I am the ground that rests during winter in order to prepare for spring. I am embracing my own internal winter even as I prepare to leave the external winter for the endless summer of St. Thomas.

My suitcase is overflowing with canvas and paint. Images are flowing into my mind. What will happen? I do not know… It is a beautiful thing.

Sonnets to Orpheus XIII
Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were
behind you, like the winter that has just gone by.
For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter
that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive.

Be forever dead in Eurydice-more gladly arise
into the seamless life proclaimed in your song.
Here, in the realm of decline, among momentary days,
be the crystal cup that shattered even as it rang.

Be-and yet know the great void where all things begin,
the infinite source of your own most intense vibration,
so that, this once, you may give it your perfect assent.

To all that is used-up, and to all the muffled and dumb
creatures in the world’s full reserve, the unsayable sums,
joyfully add yourself, and cancel the count.

– Rilke Maria Rainer (trans. Stephan Mitchell)