Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Silence of #blizzard2016

It's the silence you notice most. The kind of silence where the pulsing in your ears is the first thing you hear. From eight floors up, the only other sounds are low, growling, urgent rumbles that repeat every five or ten seconds. Expansive, deep, weightless silence.

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: White on White, 1918. source
There's motion too. Streaky, horizontal, particulate, white, infinite. Something's in a hurry but it's not you. Chaotic is how they're describing it, and yet from this safe vantage it's creating a supreme uniformity, an erasure, a white, undulant canvas.

Robert Rauschenberg, Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953. source
Despite the growling plows' efforts to erase it, the world outside remains virtually unchanged. Inside, using the word "trapped" mocks the word itself, the vanity of a first world problem. Yet inside this bubble, time has stopped. Nothing to do, or everything to do. No time to accomplish anything, or time enough to accomplish everything.

The window beckons, framing the silver-tinged, grainy whiteness, a vista made tangible solely by the slight chill it imparts, your only direct connection to reality. It's an unchanging view below, punctuated rarely by rapidly filling footsteps.

Vija Clemins, Night Sky #17, 2000-2001. source
There's a crescendo of the growls and footfalls, attempts to hold back time. Yet time and today are already lost to the slicing crystalline blankness with hopes that time will fly back tomorrow.

Massive, swirling swarm of black birds stipples the sky.

Immediacy, timelessness. Proximity, vastness. Fate, luck. All wrapped in a veil of snow.

From the 8th floor of the Hampton Inn at Reagan National Airport, 22-24 January 2016. Written with full knowledge that not everyone involved in #blizzard2016 has the opportunity for faux philosophy.

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