By Dain Girodat
the way the snow sticks to the tree’s branches
so I you-tube the warmth and sunshine.”
Forgive me for feeling like Helen Keller, but it’s the first day of the New Year and I’m in the thick of the North Country. It’s nine-thirty, maybe ten o’clock pm and a few good friends and I have stocked the wood stoves and supper is being served. The soup is hot, the bread is sliced, the salad is green and cheesy and cold and the peppers await us stewed on our plates. We’ve turned out all the lodge lights, and extinguished the table candles’ flames. It is as dark as we can possibly make it. We sit giggling unable to distinguish the familiar forms around us. We dig in. Our forks are first to go, we abandon them to use our hands instead; our fingers scramble the table in search of the carafe of wine. Some of us close our eyes, some stare into the black, and others look down at the table where usually the plates and bowls would be visibly spilling over with delightful entrees. We pass bread at the wanting voices.
What a new experience, a slight, dull moon and star glow pressing through the patio window and from the cracks of doors while the foods’ flavors excel and intensify, the cinnamon spice, beans and citrus hints warming the body and soul as I search my salad for an olive and handfuls of fried plantains are pressed into my palm from another palm and my tongue dances with the sweet and sensual yogurt sauce; the party laughs, stuffing, slurping, sucking, we devour dinner, joking of our primitiveness, we finish with no eyeing the second helpings. Our bellies full, there’s no picking at the scraps thinking; “I’ll just finish this off so it does not go to waste”, but that “I’m full–I’m contented.” With no one watching I lift my plate and lick it clean completely satisfied with this visionless supper prepared with love by myself and my friends. I sigh, we light a candle and the single flame seems as luminescent as sun rise while my vision awakes to the table of smiling faces.
It changes, darkness in the light, light where there’s darkness.