Ice Fishing at Winter Solstice
by Larry Gavin
Sometimes I imagine
The darkness of late afternoon
Exists to remind me how surely
All light will disappear. There is no hesitation
As the sun, in heavy clouds, declines
Behind hills - just as suddenly
All thoughts of day vanish, too.
The cold rises with Venus, an evening
Star this time of year.
The world becomes a circus of circles:
Stars, the float, this hole
I stare into. I stare
As if the whole world depends on me
Being here staring through a hole
In Ice, answering the old riddle
About what gets bigger the more
Is taken away. I could count
My losses as losses, but tonight
The world begins its graceful slide
Toward spring. Winter seems to pause
A moment. Gathering itself suspended
In night: like bait suspended
By the float above bottom,
Like ice suspended above the density
Of water, air above ice, and on
Into the infinite vacuum of space.
The float tugged beneath the surface
Threatens to pull me down, too.
Instead I draw the line tight
And set the hook.
I might as well be reeling in stars.
Reflected through dark water
To just within reach, becoming a fish
That can't live in air. My cold hands fold
Around him as if in prayer.
Warning: it is late and I am going to be incoherent. Even more so than usual. Just wanted to get that out of the way.
Okay: I never saw A Walk on the Moon before. I believe I must have resisted it on principle because 1) my college roommate had a major crush on Diane Lane, which was always a turn-off to me for reasons I could never articulate (now that I'm forcing myself to think about this, the fact that she was claiming to be straight in college while I was deep in doubt about myself and all the messy stuff that churned up undoubtedly had a lot to do with it) and 2) I guess somewhere I heard that it was about Jewish women at a summer resort in New York, and since that is my background, and since my mother is obsessed with books and movies about Jewish women at summer resorts in New York, and I somehow managed not to know about the Woodstock angle, I thought it might remind me of my mother. And there is no bigger turn-off than thinking "Viggo Mortensen" and "my mother" in the same sentence.
Also, I tend to be in denial about the fact that I am now officially over 35 and will more likely be relating to the mothers than the daughters in mother-daughter stories.
Anyway, I got my husband to sit down and watch with me, which he did happily once the soundtrack got going (this is a man with two different Woodstock DVDs in our relatively small DVD collection). And then he proceeded to put up with me laughing and crying through the whole thing, even though he had just had to put up with similar inane behavior during Trek V. I think he did this because -- and I astonished myself here -- I spent most of the movie cussing at Diane Lane for cheating on her husband with Viggo. Yeah, I know it's Viggo, and yeah, I know she was mourning her lost youth and frustrated in housewife hell and many many things I related to all too well, but I was shrieking, "What about your KIDS?" and all these other things that gave me the horrified realization: oh my god, I AM my mother.
Besides, Viggo's character was outrageously too perfect (even worse than Faramir in the LOTR books, heh heh heh). Other than the fucking married women thing, he didn't have a single fault, and he wasn't even a good adulterer -- he knew when to leave.
I was going somewhere with this when I started writing, but I've forgotten where so I'll finish tomorrow. I think my point was that anyone who has not seen this movie should see this movie. Even if, like me, you have way too much in common with Diane Lane's character and so does your mother.
Ooh yeah, from lilithlotr, a link to a very funny TTT parody!