Monday, March 06, 2006

The Snowman

Hollywood has been kind to the Snowman. There is Frosty, of course, America's wisest and most famous Snowman, and then countless other more anonymous creations, the most recent of these being built, for the most part, during a romantic movie's montage. Here, you'll see scenes of great joy, young lovers and powdery white snow, the sun hanging high the sky, red cheeks and white teeth, snowball fights and out of breath kisses.

But when you actually live in the snow, you realize the Snowman is in fact a bit of an evil creature, luring you out onto the frozen tundra, there beneath the bare, leafless branches and the quickly darkening skies -- the stuff of Igmar Bergman, not movies made for Christmas Eve. When you actually live in the snow, you see yellow snow, the work of men or dogs, you can neither say nor wish to know. And so when asked to make a Snowman these past few weeks, I looked for any way out. We have to go to the philharmonic, I said, it's getting dark, we really don't know how safe it is -- today's clean looking snow only hides yesterday's lifted leg. You sure you want to go through with this?

But no more. On Sunday it happened -- completely unexpected, while we were walking between Points A and B. "This snow looks good, doesn't it?" The snow had lacked moisture the day before, that certain something that allows it to collect and roll up into a nice ball. But after a night of fresh snow, I had to admit that what lay on the ground looked promising. So we got to it and built this man you see in the picture, a guy who stands all of about one-foot two soaking wet (and frozen into snow). I can't take the credit. I provided the kopecks for the eyes and stuck a nub of a branch into his face for a nose, but other than that, this Snowman was made by Russian hands.

1 Comment:

Myfanwy Collins said...

The snowman IS evil! He is! Although, in Quebec the ambassador for carnivale is the ever-smiling Bonhomme de Neige--still he doesn't fool me.

Your snowman looks nice, though.