As the thermometer’s red line submits to gravity’s pull, as the sun arcs surreptitiously behind the southern horizon of trees, and as snow silently erases the earth’s hues and contours, I go inward. Into the cabin, into my head. Toward the story that needs to be told.
Winter is my season of time and space – to research, to write, to contemplate and connect. These are the magic months when creativity comes to the fore. When projects prevail that have nothing to do with paychecks. Our seasonal employment of tree trimming and firefighting have slowed to a standstill. There is nothing to do, nowhere to be. The garden will wait. So, too, the bees. Everything pauses while I follow a story that, in this season, matters for everything.
I am researching the life of my great-uncle, Mike Miksche. It is a massive undertaking. The words to tell his tale are a long way off. For now, I am nothing more than a student to his work and world. So much of his experience is foreign to me: being male, of a different sexual orientation, a different era, going to war, living in New York, feeling the onset of a despairing madness. Who am I to write this story? I ask myself. But then, who else? It is what I feel compelled to do.
I’ve posted a bit on my Stories in Progress page, and I hope to share more, here, as I learn it during these slow months of silence and space.
Our North Idaho winters are a blessing. I hope to do right by this gift of time.