First Day of Winter
This is what winter looked like in the southern city which was once her home town. She’d forgotten the mild summer days that passed for winter down by the sea in a southern clime.
There was nothing to do—just be. Open. Spacious. Free. Slough off the past.
But she couldn’t.
These places were too charged with resonances of the past—excited molecules bearing negative charges, rutted neural pathways, implicit understandings, explicit emotions—redolent of failures, dead ends, and endless cul-de-sacs. Every corner a lack in her character—a stunted ambition—an opportunity missed.
Then she remembered why she left all those years ago.
But now there was this issue of a first winter day that felt like a mild summer day. Weren’t all winters moving forward going to be mild summers?
A palm tree festooned in Christmas lights.
She reeled herself in and whispered: breathe, just be.
“The language of poetry reminded me to stay alive. It reminded me that, when it felt like I had nothing, I was nothing, I still had words. I could ride language as if on horseback, and it could take me anywhere, including more deeply within myself.”
— Victoria Chang / Dear Memory