Flashback: Winter Cascades

rain on evergreens.

trying to start the fire, more and more newspaper, burning, curling faces of politicians, until the kindling finally catches. still wearing your coat until the cabin begins to warm. light a pipe with a heavy, cherry-flavored tobacco. pour a glass of brandy. put on some slow, sad Brahms, shut off the light. watching chill rain, waiting on snow. the feeling coming back to your hands and feet. wet boots steaming before the fireplace. alone. relieved you’re alone, but also wishing someone was there. the fit never quite right. here on top of a mountain, thinking of the city, and, if in the city, dreaming of the mountain. never able to be just where you are. waiting for something to possess you, an outside event or idea. ever hanging. forever standing on your toes. and then suddenly, through the fogged window: snow in circles, rush of silence. weight of the brandy, pulling down into cushions. smell or burning pine. skillets on the walls. books. fishing tackle. phone, unplugged. desk with writing tablets, pens. no computers.

rising heavily, feeling the brandy vertigo come and pass, and opening the door to the soft hiss of snow, already filling in your footprints. no need to lock the door, closing it softly, and feeling the forest move around you. a slow-turning vortex of dark green memory. turning, turning, with all the faces past, the lost moments, ghost memories or piercing lost opportunties.

write something. save yourself from yourself.

About Steve Patterson

Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian. View all posts by Steve Patterson

2 responses to “Flashback: Winter Cascades

  • Mead

    Steve, just wanted to say I really love reading your writing and I look forward to it every day and feel just a twinge of sadness whenever you haven’t had time to blog. It’s such absorbing writing that for me it’s become my little meditative respite from the vertigo-inducing bizziness that constitutes most of my day. So please keep blogging — you have me to worry about, y’know….Is that photograph that graces this post one of yours? Gorgeous. Moody. Autumnal. Elegaic.

  • splattworks

    Thank you for those very kind words, Mead. I thought launching a formal blog would provide a challenge that required a certain discipline, and, so far, it’s been great fun coming up with something on a regular basis. I figure if I don’t have a formal post, I can always steal something from the notebooks.And, yes, the shot’s mine. It was actually taken on a foggy Martin Luther King Day at the PDX Japanese Gardens.S

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