Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Would Ice This Forever


So many, so fast, too short, sunrise is not a moment but a transient passage

That we should ride, and see such things, say, one per each pedal turn 70 or 80 per minute. Pause, breathe in, remember, commit to that which just was for a moment. She was not in this one, but she is in every one, and I would freeze them all, if I could. Freeze a perfect infinite moment for we who are neither.

One day in one thousand, the canal is frozen solid at sunrise. 

Her face lights up with morning fire, which fades so fast I'm not even sure I saw it. 

How folly, how necessary, how sharp to look at the empty where the ephemeral slipped through my fingers. 

If someone finds a single glove laying on the canal bank next to this ice bike, it was mine, and I don't need it, as I prefer to feel the cold wind making my fingers forget, become numb, so they feel less what they don't grasp. Perhaps they will learn their lesson this way, perhaps they will flutter their silly little finger pas de deux of laughter and forgetting one gloved parter and one with all skin bitten by the gelid air, and their frostbitten twisted shape will be a kind of frozen reminder, something real, something I do keep yet. Naked hand held up in the rising sun, tiger claw, drawing energy from its passing rays in combined renewal and forgetting. Yes it's a new day but what if I would freeze one moment of yesterday if I could?




That we would ever ride, like this, or like we were when that thought which I read crossed the sky of her face, unnamed, would stay there in this my-feeling-of-seeing it pass across, this I would freeze forever, please. I require nothing but that single sunrise, all else is gray.




In all my careful plans, the placement, the lighting has to be at this angle, pro-shadows, and she kept laughing at all my tedious machinations. Just press the button, take the photo, drop your glove if you can't feel it, move on, you can't really catch or hold it, she seemed to be saying. Just when I thought I had it, just when it seemed frozen there just as I had imagined you imagining me on that ride, the one I would ice down for good, the light of the rising sun was perfect, my finger above the button, the bird flew between us. That shadow bird. And all my Turneresque (jmw) reflective thoughts dissolved into something heavy in the form of a tiny blurred shape coming between us. Across her face drifted an expression I've never seen before. Longing? Forgetting? Love with a frostbitten edge? Gone now, but worth it all, I'm certain.   


I'm certain I saw this, and everything else I remember fading
 

10 comments:

  1. Nice photo, first one. Ice for one day in a thousand, huh? I would think you'd get more. I'm glad you were there to capture the moment.

    You are philosophical while I get overly emotional when I see bikes abandoned. I think of how that one bike could put one more person on the road.

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    1. Thank you anniebikes. Most of our plants reflect the rarity of extended spells of below freezing weather by dying off when the temperature stays below 32F 0C for a few days. This was a long stretch for us, and our plants will pay the price when the full extent of their frozen damage becomes apparent.

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  2. this was a real pleasure to read jra. i ride through ice for several months of the year and i truly appreicate it on the river i ride beside, on the canal i cross (on the top of the lock gate) and on the gardens of the people i pass. i respect it when it covers the road! safe riding . . . .steven

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    1. Thank you steven for commenting. This time I didn't post any photos of it, but since people run their lawn sprinklers in every season, there were some instances of transient ice sculptures that were silver in the early morning light, too. Not too many patches of ice on the ground, though, except around the sprinkler heads themselves, easy enough to avoid, and not a trigger for studded bike tires.

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  3. The photos and narrative are lovely. The texture and color of the first photo is especially nice. As for the cold and ice, I think I it is easier to enjoy while sitting in south Florida and watching it on a screen!

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    1. Well thanks Marsha. Yeah, someone on a call this week mentioned something about 80 degrees and the beach in Florida, but I missed what they said...

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  4. Nice dreamy quality to that whole thing ... I enjoyed it muchly.

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    1. RANTWICK could we figure out a way to bottle up nice-dreamy-quality and sell it in small droppers to cyclists? Extracted in the winter maple syrup style from blogs with excess? I'll take two ounces of Grade A, please.

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  5. I liked the first photo best as well.

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    1. Steve these frozen days were made comfortable by the sniper gloves with the optional mitten flap, toasty when in use. And they have those loops for your fingers to loop through to pull them off. Just about perfect for mid 20s all around.

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