In Praise of Snow

After the recent changes in the weather (it seems that Winter has made a bit of a late comeback – white is the new black!) we have all started to take notice of snow again. Yes, I know it snows occasionally, but that usually melts overnights these days, and in north Norfolk, snow hasn’t really been a feature of winter these last nine years whilst I have lived here.  On Thursday 12th February at just after eleven at night I looked out of my window and was struck by the quality of light on the unexpected snowfall.  It was remeniscent of the kind of light you get during late summer preceding a violent thunder storm.  Pregnant with elemental forboding, but highlighting everything in a way that made you look again at familiar sights. This time, every dead branch, stalk and stem was straining under its own weight of snow, glowing with an intensity that outweighed its importance.


I went back to my book. I’ve just started reading Cocteau’s ‘Les Enfants Terribles’ and couldn’t help noticing the parallels in my thoughts on the snow outside my window; “The hard muddy ground had already been smashed, churned up, crushed, stamped into slides by children on their way to school. The soiled snow made ruts along the gutter. But the snow had also become the snow on porches, steps, and house-fronts: featherweight packages, mats, cornices, odds and ends of wadding, ethereal yet crystallised, seemed, instead of blurring the edges of the stone, to quicken it, to imbue it with a kind of presage.” It’s not often that you have a literary kick up the arse, but that’s what I had.

Then comes the link to Christo and his wrapping projects of the 1980’s and 90’s. Makes you look again. I’ve recently found myself re-evaluating my opinions on Abram Games and felt kind of spooked by this. I hope to be spooked some more. I’m not sure whether there’s something in the water (or the snow) or whether I’m becoming more succeptible to these coincidences, but I want it to continue.


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