December 16, 2005

Just Like Dr. Zhivago. Without Wolves and Nasty Communists, Though.

We have a full moon tonight. Well, maybe not a full moon, but just past the full moon. It think the astronomical term is "waning gibbous," meaning it's getting smaller rather than larger. Obviously this means it's finally clear outside because I can see the moon. For those of you lucky enough to be on an island in French Polynesia right now (Hello, my lone and devoted Cake Eater Reader out there in the middle of the Pacific. Have a Mai Tai for me. Please.) and may not be familiar with how it works here in the Great White North, when the clouds disappear, it gets quite cold. The way it was explained to me is that the clouds act as insulation, keeping the warm air in and the cold air in Canada. So, since it's clear outside, this, of course, means it's cold outside, too.

As in three degrees Fahrenheit.

Since our landscape is quite white right now, it's cold and there's a full moon, well, I'm reminded of Dr. Zhivago, when Omar Sharif's Yuri has brought Lara Antipova and Katya to Varikyno, to hide from the Reds.

That snowbound palace is something quite wonderful to behold. Derelict, unloved, everything is covered with snow and ice and looks like it's been frosted by the most creative and utterly mad of cake decorators. You can almost feel the nervousness they experience when they break through the boarded up main door to try and find a place to hide and finally lay eyes on the place, wondering if it will be suitable. Everything is covered in ice. It looks grand, like the ice was sprayed as the main decoration for a party, and you can almost feel their wonder and awe at how things look. Except they know they cannot stay in those rooms; they're uninhabitable. They find the two rooms unaffected by the ice palace, where they can stay warm. This is where Yuri writes his Lara poems and where they live waiting to be discovered.

I digress, as usual, but getting back to the's nights like this, when the bare trees cast the most spartan shadows in the moonlight, onto the white snow that I think of Dr. Zhivago, and the scene where Yuri hears the wolves on the front lawn. He makes his way to the verandah and instead of clapping or shouting or whatever you expect him to do with the wolves gathered on his front lawn, he hisses loudly while flapping his arms once, sharply. The wolves whimper and run away. Yuri goes back into the house and settles down to write some poetry.

When I look out onto the front lawn, I see the moonlight, the dark sky, the stars, the shadows the tree branches make across the ethereally glowing snow...and I wonder when the wolves will show up. They're all that's missing from the scene.

Well, them and a massive Siberian retreat with onion domes and icy furniture, but, really, who's counting?

Posted by Kathy at December 16, 2005 11:35 PM | TrackBack

Thanks for setting the mood. I'll be in MN for the holidays starting on Thursday, so I'd better adjust my thinking accordingly.

Posted by: Brian B at December 20, 2005 08:14 AM
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