No way in or out

I woke to snow-silence on Friday. This is a different kind of silence from simple absence of sound; it has a different texture. It snowed from 7pm on Thursday to midday on Saturday – without respite.

Yes, I know London got 5 inches – I’ve seen pictures – and the city came to a halt. We had snow-cancellations here too – but that was with 22 inches in Boulder and nearly 40 here.

Snowed in, snow cancelled, snow silence. Alone in the house, this should have provided wonderful opportunity for writing & reflection – but somehow didn’t. Perhaps the meteorological phenomenon was just too immense, perhaps the awe and wonder at nature was all there was, or perhaps simply the pathetic fallacy…

This made me think about the following:

What are the ideal conditions for introspection, thinking, writing, being? When are individuals at their most creative?

Some people write more when depressed, others find writing deserts them at such times.

Journal prompt

What are the ideal conditions to foster creative or reflective writing? How do you nurture that relationship? What do you need? Is it solitude or bustle? Inside or out?


Write a dialogue with solitude.

and then the sun came out

The snow swirls down without substance,

As though gravity were an accident of faith

If we all stopped believing

would it never land?

As I look out of the window again – that could be snow…..

4 thoughts on “Snow….”

  1. The other day The Writer’s Almanac (
    delivered a timely poem to my inbox:

    February ground
    by Marge Piercy

    Three feet of snow in twenty-four hours
    on top of seven inches. Not really
    credible here. On the fourth day
    we found the car under a six
    foot drift and dug it out.

    At first we could not open doors.
    The post office shut for two days.
    Our road had vanished into a field.
    We felt the sky had finally
    fallen and drowned us.

    Six weeks: now patches of ground
    emerge from white fortresses.
    How beautiful is the dirt
    I took for granted. Extraordinary
    the wild green of grass islands.

    Having the world snatched
    from us makes us grateful even
    for fence posts, for wheelbarrow
    rising, for the stalwart spears
    of daffodil uncovered.

    Everything revealed is magical,
    splendid in its ordinary shining.
    The sun gives birth to rosebushes,
    the myrtle, a snow shovel fallen,
    overcome on the field of battle.


  2. Jane,
    Thank you for this evocative picture of the Yorkshire countryside in snow – I know exactly what you are describing, I can see it. A wonderful example of ‘A view from my window’ – it would make a good practice each day – 70 words on the view from your window.

    It’s snowing again here and the silence grows as the view disappears.


  3. Loved this consideration of silence and refelection. Here the snow brings movement and noise – a much busier, always accessible, urban scene. Outside my window the snow on the Bole Hills invited small and medium and large bodies, pulling and pushing their sledges. They had many ways out. Their dark-coloured clothing wove slow/fast dances on the hillside, which compacted and disturbed the white. Now it lies silent, mottled with green, crossed by occasional dogs and their walkers.


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