Snow Drifts

The last seven days have brought a decent amount of snow. It’s beautiful to watch it falling, and the hush of the world is an increasingly rare luxury to enjoy. And then you have to shovel.

Snow is rain you have to pick up. Sometimes it’s worth shoveling multiple times to keep things manageable. Sometimes it’s best to wait for the sky to empty itself and do it all at once. It depends on the snow. Some snow is light and easily brushed away. Some snow is wet and heavy and turns into impenetrable walls of ice if not dealt with before the temperatures plummet.

So it is with life. There are some things that are best dealt with as they show up: bills, laundry, Aunt Karen… Other things require a single focused effort because they will drain you to the point of exhaustion: that collection of boxes that never got unpacked, updating the resume, Aunt Karen…1

Most of the time I don’t dislike shoveling. I don’t particularly like it either, but there’s something calming and zen about the process. The exertion, the quiet, the visible progress all come together to create a moment. There’s nothing but the snow, the shovel, and my thoughts.

Last night, I started shoveling through this web site. I archived blog posts dating back to 2005. This is my long-overdue restructuring, and in many ways, it’s turned into an impenetrable wall of ice. But it’s not just the blog section to which I’m turning my attention. It’s the social media, the lack of focus, the procrastination habits, and the ever-present artist angst and fear of failure.

Yes, yes, it’s another “fresh start,” though this time things feel a little different to me. I don’t have the manic flurry and obsession that past overhauls have brought. I’m slowly working out my strategy, adjusting something here, discarding something there. But as I figure things out, they tend to have a much more permanent feel to them.

So this time, I make no predictions, no promises to break, no grand scheme to fail. I have no magic beans to take me above the clouds to the mystical land above the snow. What I have is a deeper sense of calm and steady purpose. I’m not sure of the destination, but I’m walking. And I’m shoveling as I go.


 I don’t actually have an Aunt Karen.