21 November 2013

Rain on the Glacier

Troubled sleep fractured by thunderstorms and restless mind, it is no good thing to roll around on the sheets under the grey smear of a streetlight sky. The clocks may be digital, but that does not prevent them ticking too loud as to keep one awake. It was enough to make one run into the street, clothed in nothing more than swirling leaves and a coat made of anxiety.

It was rain on the glacier. Dark, cold, wet. Things to be avoided, yet here they were wrapped around my throat. I laid still, hoping it would go away.

A few hours later, and it was time to get up and make some sense of the day. Sense making is no easy task without defined goals, a sense of purpose and a job. I had none of those. The rain saw fit to make sure of it. Looking out the window, I saw the door to the shed flapping in the breeze, another incomplete task dropped from the colander of my mind.

It was the third day in a row I had forgotten to go shut and lock the door.

Not to be too pessimistic, but that seemed the story of my life, staring as I was out the window at the grey oppression of the sky. One long unfinished task, another episode of wasted potential. Chronic, it is. The contemplation of it left me in a sour mood, a brown study as the old-timers might say.

I thought once again of Bouvet Island, the most remote place in the world. Claimed by Norway, inhabited by no one, home to seals and birds, and I wondered if there might be a place for me in that stark ecosystem. Perhaps I, like the seals and penguins, could learn to live on krill and ice water. Brutal and harsh, maybe, but simple and and beautiful in own way.

The sun came out late in the day, the white gold light of which inspired me to grab my pinhole film camera and leave the house in search of inspiration in what ultimately proved to be an abortive attempt to capture the fading glory of the day. I forgot a crucial piece of equipment and the light went before I would have been able to go get the piece. I shivered in the cold breeze, and returned home empty handed.

I daydreamed about Bouvet on the drive home, then reckoned it was too grim a prospect for me to dwell upon. The sun faded back behind the clouds as I pulled into the drive. Late fall and anxious thoughts had there claws in me, I knew. I cast about the house for some relief, and found it in the form of cooking dinner.

The rain continued to fall upon the glacier, but I chopped, stirred and tasted until the umbrella unfurled, and I found myself warm in the heart of home.


  1. Returning home always seems to make life alright.

  2. "...clothed in nothing more than swirling leaves and a coat made of anxiety." As usual, Irish, so much heart in your words...

    And hey! Go shut that blasted shed door! ;D

  3. Aw I miss all these lovely musings. Always so succinct.Thanks again :)


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...