The Slow-Cooked Sentence


Rachael Conlin Levy
Photo courtesy of i:tzharr.

Dragon puffs of warm air rose from our mouths this morning as I walked my children to school. The cold, gray days of January have returned after a false spring, and I kicked mulch over the moss phlox that had been tricked into opening a few pink blooms.

“Go back to sleep,” I tell it.

I’m mentally hibernating this winter — stoking ideas, dreaming up possibilities, weighing changes. Some of my mood is triggered by the recession as I watch the corner gas station shutter its windows, and the food line lengthen outside the neighborhood church. My husband tinkers with our budget in order to squirrel away a few more dollars against a pay-cut. I buy more beans, and imagine squeezing freelance writing into my child-dominated days.

But my hibernating also comes from discovering silver threads of age in my hair, of the strand of fear that twisted itself around my excitement while sledding, of the stiffness I feel when I climb out of bed in the morning. Given family genetics and age, my life may well be half-lived, and this realization has me seeking inspiration from late bloomers like Cezanne, whose greatest work came late, and Mark Twain, who published “Huckleberry Finn” at forty-nine.

But it’s not just the dead and famous who inspire me. During my holiday hiatus from this blog, I found things online that warmed my imagination — whether with beauty, irreverence or plain yumminess — some of them created, not for money or fame, but for the sheer joy of creating.

Here’s what’s got me happily hibernating:

You Won’t Remember This Either.
My toddler’s fascination with dogs.
Indecent Haiku.
Pumpkin pancakes recipe.
This Joy Ride: poetry+photos+inspiration.
These wine glasses featured in a video of the Wall Street Journal’s wine columnists.
Late Bloomers.
The Indian Magic crabapples we planted this winter.
The hat worn by Aretha Franklin during the Inauguration. Oh yeah!

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