Tuesday, February 19, 2013
My hearty fellow winter wonderers: I know you must marvel, as do I, at the hard truth of a frozen lake—this once lively, liquid pool, now captive, groaning, its huddled molecules tired of such close quarters. Where, just four months past or hence, you're in it, one with it, now you're shut out, settling for but a skin-deep appreciation with boot or blade.
Unless you're an ice fisher, chances are that's where your attention ends, your curious juices freezing the instant they hit the surface. But, as with all surfaces, there's more to see if you can look deeper.
Occasionally, a surreal image will catch your eye: a fish frozen into the ice. Sometimes they've died before freezing, floating horizontal to the bottom of the top, there but for ice's shield against beak and talon.
Sometimes they've died before freezing, floating horizontal to the bottom of the top
But, once in a great while, you find one caught alive, vertical, flash-frozen in mid tail stroke. You stop and ponder how it could possibly have not been able to swim away as the water, passing from 33 to 32 degrees, started to set around it.
What went through its little mind as heart kept beating, blood kept flowing awhile, till that too eventually thickened and set.
And I wonder, is there memory in death by degrees?