January thaw. It's around 45F. A lot of the snow that had been dumped during the last month was washed away by a couple of warm, wet, windy days this week. It's funny, now that we are such a wired nation, how phrases go from unfamiliar to overused to parody, literally in the space of an afternoon. I first heard the term 'polar vortex' on Tuesday around midmorning. By the next day I'd heard it a hundred times--on the radio, in conversation, read it in the NYT. By the end of the week a whole entertainment subindustry around the concept had come and gone.
I took a little walk around Portland's east end this morning. Feeling wan after a week's worth of a bad cold. That glazed, unfocused, weak-limbed feeling...do you know what I'm talking about? It's difficult to do anything well, except whine. While walking I felt I was sleepwalking, and only took the camera out of my pocket once. I was intrigued with the way the first story of this balloon-framed house slopes out: if that is a traditional New England style, I've never noticed it before. Maybe it's a post-modern change: but that would have meant new footings, a new foundation, right? Or maybe not. It's not that easy to see in the photograph, but the first story sheath walls slant outward slightly, from the top to the bottom--sort of like they are leaning against the rest of the house. It's not a particularly pleasing effect.
I tell myself I feel the light coming back. Well, on a day like today, that's easy. But there's lots of winter still to come.
- Brooklin, Maine, United States
- We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at www.peterbehrens.org I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.