We are still in the depths of a winter in the temperate zone, and it’s cold, and nothing is growing much outside in the snow/freezing rain/or at the very least, frigid temperatures. But let’s release the organic metaphor that governs many a mode of thought for the moment, and say that though each finality is a sort of natural ending of some movement or other (whatever sort of growth or development the movement might be), each ending contains the seeds of a new beginning. Seeds are stored up in the frozen ground beneath our feet, waiting for the sun to come out on days when the temperature likewise is gentle and mild, and though we can’t see the seeds right now, and though it seems as if spring will never come, short of some universal catastrophe, we know that it will.
I’m taking comfort in this particular organic metaphor right now because I’m finding it very hard to continue my self-appointed tasks of reading and writing, and am spending a fair amount of time staring at the wall or out the window, not even daring to daydream overmuch because I don’t want to be “caught” (even by myself) wasting time. So, my mind is frozen; motionless; and yes, you guessed it, I’m typing it all out here in my post in an effort to “start a hare” from the underbrush and get on with my work. (I like that particular metaphor of “starting (startling) a hare from the underbrush” even though I would never shoot a rabbit or be caught with a gun looking for rabbits to shoot unless I were starving, because when one is out walking and a rabbit or squirrel or other small animal pops up nearly underfoot and rushes away, one oneself is equally startled by the suddenness of the encounter, and loses track of the–in this case obsessive–thoughts one is going through in one’s mind. Though of course whether the THOUGHTS are going through one’s mind, or one is going through the thoughts IN one’s mind is a matter for brain specialists and metaphysicians to contemplate.) There’s a freshness to sudden encounters of the rabbit or chipmunk kind, as the tiny being leaps away from one’s own bumbling footsteps and seeks a safer haven; and one feels a part of the small life in the sense that then one’s heart begins to beat more swiftly in reaction, one’s face may flush, one may stumble, or feel a sudden rush of exhilaration at the presence of another life so near at hand and so rapid.
Now, you are perhaps tempted to point out to me that if I am indeed “frozen” and “motionless” in inspiration when it comes to impetus for reading and writing, my two favorite mental activities, that I AM in fact “starving,” and would perhaps have done well to bring a “gun” along in case I should, while typing this post, see a small furry shape dart from beneath my feet and try to get away from me. But even though I am omnivorous and not solely a vegetarian, I’m looking to track the life bounding away without actually hunting it, because of course those other small forms of life are hunters, too, and they are “hunting” those seeds and pods and vesicles of life that remain in the trees, bushes, and ground over the winter. It’s simple: one life leads to another. I start the hare by accident, perhaps, but then I peer ahead of it to see where it’s bounding, hoping to discover some seeds or shoots that I can bring indoors and attempt to “sprout” for my own projects. And there’s probably the tail end of this particular metaphor, since I can think of nothing else to do with it at this point. Whatever “seeds of a new beginning” I happen to find will require patience from me, because nothing happens overnight, and after potting something you have to wait while it sits in a warm windowsill or under a grow lamp, stretching itself upward slowly. So, here’s the “sprout” I found while sitting at my desk and trying to think of something to post about on this second day of January, 2013. But really, you and I know that I wasn’t sitting at my desk at all, I was out in a snowy field , following tiny tracks with perplexity and some confusion because I didn’t see anything to connect them with, when suddenly up popped a rabbit or squirrel, running, perhaps, for a bed of early crocuses which they’ve been nibbling at before. Here’s my “crocus bulb” for you–I hope it will help you start a few hares or chipmunks too!