The road to the Salts’ house, Fairfax County

Everyone along the eastern seaboard has their own Saturday storm story, and I’m no different. I went to Washington DC to see my it’s-been-too-long nieces and nephews on Friday. I ended up having to wait until Sunday afternoon to finally make it to the Salt house. Our “over the river and through the woods” adventure was reminiscent of Doctor Zhivago, not what you envision when you plan a weekend in Fairfax Virginia.

But it was a weekend with highlights in spite of the weather disruption. I had the good fortune to spend time with fellow blogger Maureen Doallas (her site is Writing Without Paper ) and found so many overlapping areas of interest we could have spent the entire weekend exploring those common veins. Finished two novels that each feature the point of view of opinionated, highly intelligent and more than a little pissed off middle-aged women (a strong drink, both of them, but a point of view previously underrepresented in contemporary fiction IMHO)—Olive Kittredge (this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner) and The Elegance of the Hedgehog, translated from the French. And the perfect snowy day activity, a matinee viewing of Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You for Smoking) which continues Reitman’s roll towards cinematic exceptionalism.

Now I’m home, a house full to the brim. I’ll be posting off and on this week while we cash in on the months we have spent apart.

In the meantime, here’s a seasonal sweet one from Kenneth Patchen:

The Snow Is Deep on the Ground

The snow is deep on the ground.
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.

This is a good world.
The war has failed.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the snow waits where love is.

Only a few go mad.
The sky moves in its whiteness
Like the withered hand of an old king.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the sky knows of our love.

The snow is beautiful on the ground.
And always the lights of heaven glow
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.

–Kenneth Patchen

View from the Salts’ porch

3 Replies to “Adrift”

  1. Lovely pictures. It’s been so long since I’ve read any Patchen, and this poem makes me want to pull his books from the shelf and snuggle up.

    I’m looking forward to seeing “It’s Complicated”.

    Keep warm!

  2. I love the image that sits with this poem Deborah – both cause for pondering.
    Your reference to the novels you have just read and the context for this literature spoke to me.
    I am at that phase myself of finding a certain dissatisfaction when things do not sit right and therefore measuring, frequently, what to speak to and what to let pass.
    Somehow I was not prepared for this phase – did not sense the utter grittiness of it – so literature that explores this is timely.
    As always, thank you for a post well worth reading!
    I wish you and your beloveds a joyful festive season and best wishes for 2010.
    ps I also enjoyed visiting Maureen’s blog

  3. Maureen, I am interested in seeing that film too. Christmas Day release…maybe we’ll get a chance during the holidays.

    Sophie, I love that phrase–the “utter grittiness of it”–and I know exactly what you mean by that. Let me know what you think when you have had a chance to read both/either.

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