Blurred scenes and glimpses
Thinking back to that town, I hear Christmas call deep and alone. Some scenes are glimpses, as from a train moving through falling snow. . . Others seem suspended in time, as if the train had stopped at a remote station, the platform silent, an electric smell, photographs in the album of days with snowflakes frozen on the camera lens. So many blurred scenes now (the train moving continually toward the town, the town receding from the train): a DeSoto we pushed from icy ruts until it disappeared in flurries with one of my mittens caught on the rear bumper. . . a girl named Bernice I suddenly liked as she sat gracefully on the floor next to the Christmas tree, a ribbon in her hair, her eyes shining with impersonal joy. . . and the laughing way goodbyes were said that night out by the cars. I couldn't tell if it was that, or a solo a girl sang - or what - that made me cry inside . . . And later in my room where all was quiet except the wind, swirling about the eaves of the old house, I lit a candle and stared for a long time at the light glowing on pine cones painted gold. All my life I've been travelling back to that room and lighting a candle - my searchlight through the snow.