26 May 2011

The Tip of the Iceberg










 Every so often an image, idea or thing will sort of sidle itself up to me and take up residence in my brain for awhile. Something about said thing will speak eloquently to me, and I will enlist it as my symbol for a time. My latest such talisman is the glacier.

MagmaGlaciers are beautiful and massive and overwhelming. Like most human beings I enjoy such an occasional reminder that mysterious forces much larger than me exist (hence the perennial popularity of the disaster film).


The most impressive glaciers aren't blocky and white, but sculptural and eerily blue. Not many truly blue things exist in nature -- and those that do have always struck me as somehow slightly otherworldly, faintly magical. A gas flame. A robin's egg. The sea and the sky. Sapphires and turquoise. All somewhat able to shift between boundaries of air, earth or water. Kinda magic.


I love talking and writing about glaciers because of the words and expressions that accompany them. Glaciers don't break up, they calve.  Things move at a glacial pace. Of course the glacier is an apt emblem for this, my first post in a year. I've been inching so slowly --  retreating and then advancing --  toward writing that any movement has been nearly invisible to the naked eye. Until today.

The magnitude and power of glaciers are a little bit scary. After all, a calved chunk of a glacier -- an iceberg -- downed the Titanic, considered at the time nearly unsinkable. Icebergs are treacherous because they don't present their full mass, but conceal most of themselves below the water's surface.

I can relate.  I've long been accustomed to revealing only the most extraordinarily limited and finite amounts of myself,  as methodically, and cautiously as humanly possible. So as much as I enjoyed creating vivajoyriot, as great as an outlet as it was, as my posts became more personal, I felt excrutiatingly vulnerable. I tended to write in a bit of a vacuum, not imagining anyone ever really reading them. Until people did, and then commented. I blanched at the exposure. And retreated.

Parts of me have been embedded in permafrost for years. But slowly,  ever so gradually, the ice softens, a chunk sheaves off and I dare myself to reveal more, say more, and write.

So here I am, writing again.  Hopefully you're still here, too, reading.