Soles on ice

The weather we had yesterday and last evening has sealed the city into a kind of iron-styrofoam tomb that even nine hours of daylight, today, doesn’t seem to have softened.  As I climbed along Spring Garden Road this evening after work, I was amazed to see that neither Starbucks nor the classy Mills Department Store has been able to get their walk clean.  Each corner presents, for pedestrians, a wall and then a slush puddle from the traffic-heated interface of the street.

Bob is out breaking through the berg that has imprisoned our garden gate because apparently the fuel truck couldn’t deliver this morning, the gate wedged solid in place.  Bob, who sometimes he claims his inspiration for becoming a librarian was as much born of a hatred of shovel work as much as love of literature, is breaking swathes of the stuff but there seems to be no end in sight.  (I’m the snow shoveler, and did a round last night on the public sidewalk, thereby making that thoroughfare a little more passable than in front of places where nothing was moved between the midday snow and the evening ice pellets).

The title for this post just popped unbidden to me, but it’s a good day for a California pun, being the anniversary of Patty Hearst’s kidnapping from Berkeley, the same city where, 20 years later, Eldridge Cleaver was quite at home.  

Puns aside, and with no connection to the climate but to intellectual weather, my introduction to Soul on Ice occurred in a nexus between the classroom and free reading.  In high school, a classmate chose it when we were assigned to select a book on which to do what amounted to (I realized a few years later) hermeneutic deconstruction. The teacher rejected Bette’s choice and Bette remained adamant in maintaining that choice.  I read my own choice (Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet) and then went on to read Bette’s.  We never discussed it, which is fine for her, but leaves me wondering if she still remembers maintaining her selection.


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