I’m still oddly fascinated with images of the thin skin of ice that’s been forming on Goose Pond, the crystal interstices between solid and liquid mesmerizing me with their jagged and jutting lines. How is it, I wonder, that something fluid and flowing suddenly, upon reaching a certain magical temperature, transforms into something entirely different, the brittle fragility of ice belying water’s amorphous liquidity?
The crystal patterns of freezing water look like scarring skin, and the thin solid film on Goose Pond is a skin, a delicate membrane containing the parameters of something vast, murky, and deep. Never having sounded Goose Pond, I don’t know precisely how deep it is, but having swum there, I know the point at which its bottom drops from beneath my treading toes and the temperature of its water suddenly goes from sun-warmed to bone-chillingly cold. Like a mute creature, Goose Pond keeps its innards hidden; now in winter it grows a hide that is streaked with striations, long crystal lines knitting a tough integument against intrusion.
We humans are also vast, deep, and murky creatures, our infinite psyches being mostly unplumbed and our daily interactions merely skating the surface of consciousness. How much deeper than any pond do our spirits surge? At what point do our psychic depths drop beneath our treading toes, chilling us with the unfathomable?
Today on New Year’s Eve, we skate another sort of interstice, the intricate edge of Now and Then. We say a leopard can’t change its spots, but our penchant for New Year’s resolutions suggests we see ourselves as aquatic, able to morph from liquid to solid then perhaps even to pure air: sublime.
On the surface, both consciousness and time are textured, alluring onlookers with the illusory promise of solidity. Do you dare skate the membraneous film between Now and Then, and do you dare pierce the surface to plumb your own hidden depths?
Happy New Year to one and all!