I must make time to go to the park i must make time to go to the park i must make time to go to the park i must make time to go to the park i must make time to go to the park everything else gets in the way and there’s no time to go to the park or write about the park or anything to do with the park except feel like i should be writing about the park but I’m not I’m worrying about other stuff and worrying is not good for writing not about the park and not about anything else but if i keep worrying about not writing about the park and keep going like this at least i’ll have written about not writing about the park so yes i must make time to write about the park i must i must i must i must make time to write about the park this park or any park as long as it’s a park…

There’s always the problem of the I when you’re trying to type quickly. The I becomes an i when you want to keep going without having to deal with that shift button so then maybe the best thing is to avoid that letter that forces you to press the shift button because no other letter sends you to the shift button as long as you don’t have any full stops that force capital letters on you.

The weather is making it clear that summer is over. There was even a moment last night when I thought of turning on the heating. It was that cold, and it’s only the beginning of September. In the parts of the world I’m from September is beach weather. I’m not looking forward to winter and winter is in the air. I still find it hard to think of autumn as a season. It’s either summer or not. And if it’s not summer, it’s winter. Autumn is the gateway into winter, a harbinger, a prelude. It’s a way of putting summer behind you, it’s gearing you up for this long stretch of cold that lies ahead.

The gates close early. The trees are bare. The pond freezes over.

How close WINTER is to WRITER. Just the N and the R are different. The writer is like winter. A time to go inwards. A time when the inside is preferable to the outside. (But Hemingway wrote in the sunshine, in his shorts, surely that’s the way to do it!) The writer closes the gates early, keeps returning to the trees that are bare, filling them with leaves, pushing forwards to spring, moving towards summer. Winter is always moving towards summer. The writer is winter. Still, seemingly frozen, but underneath, ah, yes, underneath, pond life moves at a slow and steady pace, gathering momentum at a speed invisible to the naked eye. Like it was all happening on the molecular level. Bring out the brain scan to watch the writer at work. Winter at work. And today we heard about snowflakes – no two alike – on Radio 4’s Book of the Week, Charlie Connelly’s Bring Me Sunshine.

Wilson Bentley out there in the snow catching individual snowflakes on a black piece of board and putting them under the microscope. Isn’t that what we do? Isn’t that what we aim for? To look closely at the minutiae of existence, of love, of envy, of passion, of regret, touch, taste, smell, and tell it in a way that cannot be anyone else’s. There are no clichés in a snowflake. Nothing is repeated. On the surface, in the air, they all look they same, but underneath, ah, yes, underneath the microscopical eye of the writer…

I was twenty when I saw snow for the first time.

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