Inspired by walking in snow and certain other references from yesterday’s post Ridiculously late Advent Blog Day 11: I wish I’d gone out earlier I recalled and looked out this note I made of a short journey on foot which took place on 2nd January 2021.
‘Still self-isolating as much as possible as we move towards what I believe will be the most dangerous time in mid-January, I decide to make a short trip through snow and ice to a nearby shop to buy groceries. It is mainly for the exercise I have promised myself that I leave my car on the driveway and walk my hiking boots to what would usually be a very busy street. The vehicular traffic is minimal, pedestrians rare.
In the below-zero temperature, apart from the deserted clarity of the streetscape, the first thing that strikes me is the aroma of ‘weed’. I could not see any smokers in my line of vision, a line of vision which stretched far and wide, but the smell was unmistakably hanging in the pure chill suspended around me. Captured in the air there was an eerie wintry stillness which it seemed almost wrong to penetrate and there was an illegal aroma which made me want to giggle about its unexpectedness and unlikely presence in this residential neighbourhood’.
Better stop there. Just realised that that is the second reference I have made to a certain illegal substance in as many days. I contemplated applying imagination to my note, turning the above factual account into a bit of magic realism but that will have to wait for another occasion.
I am concerned that if I do my references to snow will be interpreted as slang for another illegal substance. Placing magic realism or other mixed fact and fantasy on top of that would undoubtedly lead to the entirely misleading impression that such substances assist me in my creative tasks.
I am aware that many artists, including poets, visual artists and musicians I greatly admire, have found recreational drugs valuable in their explorations and credit some of their artistic innovation and personal discovery to such use.
I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to debate their claims. It may be that I shall never find my true potential. I accept that I may never reach the level of nirvana they seek, even with my irregular practice of meditation. But that is the choice I have made.
So expect to bump into me a few stages lower than nirvana, at whatever boring level you reach following a glass or three of red wine.