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Winterís cleansings (02/06/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns
Though Iím still in a stupor from the bite of some anonymous bug, likely a foreign invader with vengeance against Midwestern writers (the rest of my family didnít catch it,) I continue to be held captive by a cold, white porcelain bowl and chalky, pink medicine. If you werenít sick, one whiff and taste of that could put you over the edge.†

Even ďMinnesota niceĒ folks arenít exempt. Those in this predicament, who have† airline tickets, wonít get reimbursed if they donít use them. ďAll aboard!Ē If you step on† that plane, everyone can see that youíre green and use the limited toilet facilities more than is normally acceptable, even when everybody is instructed to take their seats and to buckle up due to turbulent skies. When you have the creepy cruds everything else seems irrelevant.†

I sure wish airline security would have detected and detained that foreign critter who tracked me down! The flu is what happens while youíre making other plans. This year, weather seems to show no mercy. Truthfully, as much as I respect Mother Nature in all states of transition, I think she went way overboard this winter! Weíll have to look to spring for the silver lining. God has certainly got our attention!

Iíve been discovering, of late, that I seldom find myself in the deep sleep position of my recliner in midday, with an unopened book clinging to my blanketed lap. Iíve begun to notice, magazine articles have been over-the-top, fascinating! Iím highlighting again! My dictionary has found its place back on my end table. Last autumnís dust is brushed away from a stack of books I hadnít read. On top, Michael J. Fox gives me the evil eye from the jacket of his ďAlways Looking Up.Ē††

ďIím back. Donít give up on me!Ē†††††††

Where have I been that I seem to have broken through, and stumbled from some flimsy shell? The new year has already consumed all the days of its first page, Where does ďtimeĒ go?† A lapse of it had held me captive. I feel like the one who flew over the cuckooís nest.

Iím drifting back to a familiar place. Discovery has been like biting into a hazelnut, hidden in green, satiny folds of a grasshopper...a midnight mint placed on a startling white, monogrammed hotel pillow...a kiss to build a dream on...the calm of crawling back to bed under warm covers.

Again I read ravenously, with my fickle mind fully charged! I think maybe the sudden burst of hunger for missives from other brains has risen from my early winter hibernation, a cleansing, emptying time, a transparent shade drawn over the galaxy. Cleverly under cover, the faint taste of poetry and metaphor sweetens the awakening.

On the night of January 18th, I paused at the kitchen window to the east, the darkness of the house at my back. A silhouette of bare tree limbs crisscrossed the moon, our face-to-face encounter merely a taste of the union to come, as spring rolls out itís fertile welcoming mat, to beckon poets and romantics.†

In this dead of winter, in its ebb and flow, its waxing and waning, there is no romance in a cold moon. Only the echo of words and rhythms stirring, for spring deadlines and images seeping through a rising fog.† Penumbras hold those thoughts of yours until an earlier daylight breaks. Maybe the right words will come tomorrow. Raw emotions get ripe in their own time.

In between our diverse four seasons, a creative frenzy kicks in, when the pens of poets have a hard time keeping up to the thoughts that spew out. That reminds me of catsupís eruption, as an initial glob plops from the neck of its plastic bottle onto the burger or hot dog, hiccupping watery droplets in its wake.

My face is blank against a darkened windowpane...and I fall back to sleep. No need to rush the season!†


Janet Burns lives in Lewiston. She can be reached at patandjanburns@embarqmail.com.



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