Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Persistence & Change

Today is the tenth consecutive day of the thaw, yet the snow and ice endure.

It’s a telling demonstration of the persistence of Winter’s hold that despite the drips and trickles and streams of water from all the melting, there is no difficulty in finding a chunk of ice or a heap of snow piled three feet high.

However much we think of things as fleeting, it seems to me that the power of persistence holds sway in the world. Winter will not be so gently nudged aside.

February was an epic month – the coldest ever recorded in Toronto. Not for a single second did the temperature rise above freezing, and we became accustomed to the feeling of twenty below. Pipes froze and burst, furnaces failed, and the thought of welcoming the open air became difficult to conjure. People died. And what a way to die.

I’m put in mind of persistence as one of the pillars of existence, alongside its contrary sibling, change. What havoc the two create. But also, what order and flow they bring about.

There is the persistence of the child in the adult.
The change of seasons, going round and round and round.
The persistence of anger,
and the slow dismantlement of feeling that makes us human again.
Memories form like rocks,
insisting on what has been that cannot be undone.
But they are molded by the dancing chisel of truth,
malleable under the unceasing rain of time.

And beauty.
What is most beautiful: hope or what it points to, love or that it grows,
life or that it flickers and extinguishes its bittersweet before we can know it?

Winter comes, it dies, it comes again. It has never really left.
Nor has Spring.

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