Surrealist Doodle

Surrealist Doodle
This was used as the cover of Karawane in 2006 and I have included it in on a number of bags and postcards over the years. Someone on the subway asked me if it was a Miro. I was very flattered!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chapter 7 of My Accursed Novel

CHAPTER: Mo gets on the bus, after stepping out of a hostel

The day was full of promise. It was the first warm day of the winter season. Not just one of those December days that are warmer than they should be, but a day that carried with it the smell and promise of spring. It was episodes like these, the hint of what was around the corner, that had made her come to love living in the Midwest. It was your reward for surviving the winter. It was the kind of day that made you carelessly run outside with no coat on, even though you knew that tomorrow you would suffer with a sore throat and a red stuffy nose. It didn't matter. It was a small price to pay for hope. That, to her, was what the seasons were all about. Hope. Keeping a promise. Cycles that would move on and change. Seasons allowed no complacency. You had to enjoy them while you could.

No matter how beautiful the spring day, with the sun warming the top of your head and the smell of lilacs in the air, and the soft, green grass between your toes on those first few days you dared to go barefoot again, it would soon turn into summer. The grass would turn brown in the 100 degree temperatures and sweat would run down your back as if you were standing, fully clothed, in a shower. Sometimes the nights were so hot, you would toss and turn for hours trying to get cool enough to sleep. But at least the crickets would sing to you while you lie awake staring out the window. And those starry nights, when you could look out into the universe and see everything! Who would want to sleep anyway? Even that, too, would soon give way to the crisp crackling of colorful autumn leaves beneath your feet and the comfort of cool evenings warmed by blankets and bonfires. Childhood memories of leaping into a high pile of leaves returned each time she passed a sour-faced boy or older man, taking the rake to his yard as if it were a great chore that mother nature had assigned. It was virtually impossible for autumn to come and go without her remembering high school football games and homecoming festivities, bundled up under blankets in the stadium. And even though high school had not by any means been a highlight of her life, these were good memories that warmed her and made her eager to greet the fall. Even that first snowfall of winter was a delight. She was still not too old to go outside and make snow angels on that first big blizzard.

While others griped and complained when too much snow make them housebound, or caused them to miss work, she still remembered the childish delight of a snowday. She never passed up an opportunity to sit at the window with a cup of cocoa, or to go outside and dance while the snowflakes fell. And she loved those endless "white nights" where the sky was lit up from the impending snow clouds, and you could walk outside even if the street lights were not on, and feel as if you were walking in the dawn. And now, even after the harshest days of winter, with its ice storms and cold winds that made you turn your head away as if you had just been slapped in the face, she was delighted with the promise of the season. Delighted that old man winter had let his fair daughter come out and play for the day. Many of Maureen's friends had moved south or west after graduation, and whenever they called, they made it a point to ask what the temperature was there, and to remind her that there had been a cold spell--75 degrees--the other day. She laughed good-naturedly and reminded them that she did not mind the cold weather. That soon enough, it would be so hot, she would miss the snowy days and the ice storms. Only once, when the wind chill fell to 25 below did she envy them.

And for her faithfulness, she was now rewarded with a glimpse of spring.

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