Sunrise, 9:17 am. Sunset, 4:14 pm. A total of 6 hours and 57 minutes of daylight. A loss of 4 minutes and 45 seconds from yesterday. Tomorrow, a loss of 5 minutes from today.
The sun is a low, pale attempt.
Snow is late and warm gusts of wind kept us awake last night. Ice won't set in places. Trusted glassy river thoroughfares are unreliable or rotten. In Tuluksak, a community of 400 upriver from Bethel, families sacrificed hundreds of pounds of thawing winter meat when they lost power for a week. A recent study indicated that for each 5 degree increase in latitude (a distance of about 345 miles), the rate of suicide increases by 18%. The state of Alaska encompasses nearly 20 degrees of latitude.
Even though researchers claim this last loss isn't seasonal, all of this loss is still real.
And I can feel my own constitution slipping, though I wonder about the reality of it. I question the authenticity of the emotion. Its validity. Its source.
The descent is slow and quiet.
A stiff curl inward.
Old Friend. I know you.
I name you:
you are the fear that accompanies the end of an endeavor,
and whips the fierce need to embark upon another.
A nod to you, there hovering, weighty, pushing.
Coming to me with your dark.
And despite you, I will begin.
And I will make my own light.