Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Today, I Whine

This winter is kicking my ass.

Although the furnace is working, and it is a theoretically comfortable seventy degrees in my office, the outside weather presses in on me. I am wearing a fleece hoodie, a wool stocking cap, fingerless yak wool gloves made in Nepal, and Sorel boots. I am still cold.

I am thinking about the movie "Dr. Zhivago."

I saw the film only once, when I was fourteen years old, but there is one scene that stands out in my memory.* Dr. Zhivago is a poet, and he is in desperately love with a woman named Lara. He is alone in an abandoned house in the Ural Mountains. This place has no heat, and it is dead winter. The walls are covered with ice, inside and out. Zhivago is hunched over a tiny desk writing poems. He is wearing fingerless gloves and a fur hat, and his only sources of heat are a flickering candle, his love for Lara, his passion for the beauty and power of the written word, and his moustache. He is writing the love poems for Lara, which will become his enduring legacy after his tragic death.

This, I thought at age fourteen, is what it is all about: the artist alone with his medium, pouring his heart into his work, without regard for circumstance, discomfort, or practicality.

Well I’m here now to tell you, it ain’t like that. I’m freaking cold, and I feel about as creative as an ice cube. So the only writing I’ll be doing today is this blog post. Then I’m going to take a long, excruciatingly hot bath. Then I’m going to curl up under a blanket with my dog and read a book about someplace warm.

So there.

* My memories are likely flawed. I thought about watching the film again, but I didn’t think I could stand the ice and snow. Or the over-the-top melodrama.


Maggie Moris said...

Omar Sharif would love to close his eyes in that photo but his eyelids are frozen to his lower brow. The poem he's working on is probably titled, "What the F#@$ was I thinking?"

Pete Hautman said...

Yes, I think his bridge game was superior to his acting.