winter ondine


banff is slowly being covered with ice. day by day, there are a bit more ice here and there. the days are quite warm with the sun and it's actually pleasant enough to walk around with shorts and long socks, much like british school children. around canadian thanksgiving we had a proper snow storm, where for briefly, there were icicles hanging around and the frosted ground were compacting under the boots, each step. squick squick.

i really love this place with its winter coat on. i am not so sure if the common grey blue mountains are the ideal for other people- in downtown, there will be many gay people, dressed in all kinds of bright colours, enjoying the festivity of the winter. bustling, moving with enough energy to stay warm and happy. bursting with activities. but the winter i really like of banff is the one that is silent. quiet. calm. almost muted. each stone slightly different, dyed dark with the dusk of the year. falling ever so gently.

like the expression from the summers of midwest, where one may hear the sound of the corns growing, i believe one can also hear the sound of snow falling and ices forming. like that smell first thing in the morning with the windows wide open. sharp. pine- rocks- coldness. hint of the velvety blanket of the newest, lightest snow. and sometimes, a real hard face from the nature. that of ice. solid sheets. things are captures and kept by ice. for how long- i dont know. thinking about the glaciers around here, holding the tales of thousands of years, it just makes me go slack. amazing.

so many stories and lives have passed through those times. and unlike running water, ice, in my mind, holds on to things. and the longer you touch it, the hotter it becomes. bitter? no. just hot. like the white flames of proper old school forge. white cold heat. burning through. unlike fire, there will be no blisters or open wounds right away. but it will freeze. cell by cell. fingers, each muscle strands slowing down to a halt. blue veins in immobile white flesh. no longer free. however, warm. the external ice sucking up the heat off the hand, until they are equal, both immobile, white, hot and joined. perhaps even permanently, like the oxygen bubbles and carbon particles trapped from eons ago, in that massive glaciers that still stands, silent but alive.

i envy the white heat of the ice today. the day out is fairly dark, it's only 4pm and i had my light on. weve been working on shostakovich cello sonata recently and i finally have the time to look at the later two movements in detail. and there it was, again. ice. the third movement. open, vast, frozen land with no hint of movement, perhaps just a touch of a wind, ever so slight and light, just brushing by one's already frozen ears. eyes no longer able to blink so freely, as tears freeze on the corners of the eyes. engulfed in the coldest flame. and as one stands in the cold, feet frozen to the ground, ice will wrap around you in continuous silvery embrace, every corner of the body. till slumber falls. like dusk. edges of consciousness getting frayed, until, it is melded and frozen all together.

i have been lost in a snowstorm once, wandering out foolishly by self during winter camping. while waiting to be found, i felt each digits of my fingers going away from me. to ice. then forearms. the ankles, knees. you try your best to stay awake and to keep moving. come on monkey, if you fall immobile, the ice fairies will caress you, to oblivion. till. you also are the child of ice. although i was found and everything was okay, that feeling of frozen stillness still remains strongly in my mind. fingers, wrinkly and white, with small blue veins. white hot.

with such beautiful things in my life, knowing that all things will end at a certain point (thank god for the idea of carpe diem), and though some spiderwebbings will continue on to the next phase of my life (as it always does), i am feeling foolish right now, wishing that i could summon the ice fairies. ask them to cast the spell. to freeze. to freeze ebbs and flows of my life, into beautifully comforting white heat. to solid. to keep. to be kept. like the glacier. to hold. silent. i know that the time will flow from one point to another, freely as it always have been, like the ocean. and things must obey the flow of time. meanwhile, it isnt too wishful to freeze some moments is it?


  1. hehe. :) no, it isn't.. and I LOVE "that smell first thing in the morning with the windows wide open. sharp. pine-rocks-coldness"! I lived next to a small mountain when I was little and this was the smell of the morning... I miss Korea and my hometown. and my childhood, which is filled with memories like this that will never go away.

  2. you capture thoughts and feelings beautifully with words, frozen into delicate and detailed crystals; preserved in ice, transparent and lasting.