Warned of, craved, the blizzard finally barrels across the ice dark street. The known world whittles down to black elm, chiseled hoar frost, and my breath against the slim windowpane, periodic circles of clarity against a gathering snow, a white space.
“I am not a poet,” my student informs me, not by text message or email, but by phone, landline phone. My enthusiasm over the metaphoric possibilities of this student’s obsession with bricks in her narrative on building a new house with her second husband has aroused a knee-jerk reaction—and it’s not a good one.
Already this blizzard must mean something: the white exterior world beyond the cold glass I press my palm hard against. The interior world my breath inhabits, warm with its fireplace flame even as the insistent voice of the anchorwoman ticks off degrees and inches as if the world beyond the window that I cannot yet feel, and the world beyond the self I do not yet know, could be made measurable.
From forest fires to mountain lions, Ohio farm to Colorado cabin, violation to silence to reclamation, Kathryn Winograd draws keep attention to the details that braid her own history with that of the land on which she dwells, with her husband, daughters–anyone who has experienced loss and fought for renewal. Her collection of lyrical personal essays becomes a ring of concentric circles–one essay builds upon the next to achieve deeper meaning and truth, revealing, at the center, mercy.
Kathryn Winograd is the author of Phantom Canyon: Essays of Reclamation and Air Into Breath, winner of the Colorado Book Award in Poetry. Her essays have been noted in Best American Essays, and published in journals including Fourth Genre, Hotel Amerika, River Teeth, The Florida Review and The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction, 6th. She will teach for Regis University’s Mile High MFA program beginning in January, 2016.Tags: Essay Daily, Kathryn Winograd