Bleached white sky and mist that blinds the eyes hangs like lace across the sky. Droplets frozen cling to rooftop edges and the tips of my metal deer. Every moment outside smells, now, like the heart of winter. Something, underneath all of this, is stirring. But it will be half a cycle before we even see it again.
The cuts don’t stop on tree branches where leaves turn gold, orange, amber, and flame. The flamboyance of their growing lack of life. Blood stoppers up inside everything, choked out from ice cold extremities, pooling instead in the core of the belly, where the warmth is.
Just today, I stopped speaking, mid-sentence. Just stared across the room and wondered if the broken, lost, misplaced things of summer would ever come back together. The season changed and the sun hides, while moving physically closer. Nothing to mourn but the mourning over things no-one ever owned.
Every turn of phrase, every ritual, every scrap of some distance spirituality, some flicker of some flame burning on a candle lit with some dark-shedding intent in mind stirs me. The sensation is like a limb, an entire body, life waking where it had been seized.
I, by the approaching winter, feel seized.
So, to stand it, we stand outside and breathe out slow so smoke and inner warmth mix and mingle together. There’s no way anyone can tell, from here, which is which. We ar both warm and cold. We are both alive and dead. We are phsycial and ghost.
In another seventeen days, we both welcome and ward off the yokai, the teasing spirits of the dark and the night and the long dying season without much light. Find some green to keep your hope and drag it to your center. Light a candle or burn a bonfire, and hope you know what you are getting into.
We are on the edge, the verge, the brink of the dark.
I, burning up and frozen down, am ready.