Tuesday, February 19, 2013

FROZEN IN TIME – Death By Degrees

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?


Susan Blake said...

Hi Jeff,
Wow, now that question is sure a good piece of wonderment! I can at least say that I know a lot of people who are frozen in their circumstances and wonder why, just like the fish that is "trapped", how did that happen?

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hey SuZen - That's an interesting parallel. I might pose the same question as I do in this post: How is one not able to swim away just before the water (the situation) traps one there? Hm-m-m, frozen food for thought...

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