The icicles outside the front door are dripping. Where the drops land in the snow it looks like constellations, shallow indentations that seem significant, like if I recognized the language I could understand the meaning.
Next door, the little neighbor boy is shoveling snow onto his dog. The orange plastic shovel is bigger than the boy, and he finds it unwieldy because of its size but also because he is bundled in a fat jacket and snow pants. He and the dog are playing a game, and the game is called Joy. He scrapes up some light snow, tries to lift the shovel over his head – he’s only about 3 years old – and dumps the snow onto the dog’s ears or back or tail. The dog yips and leaps and the boy laughs. And then they do it again.
Outside in the yard, fallen branches poke up out of the snow. They look like skinny arms reaching toward the sky. It’s as though a contingent of stick figures was buried in the drifts, and the rescue party has yet to locate them.
I’m reading a book about writing memoir, and the famous author says “Voice is everything.” Another well-known writer says “Point of view is everything.” Sometimes I hear myself telling my students "Theme is everything." Really, I think nothing is everything.
But many things are enough.