Snow falling on suburbs

In February, I started using Tumblr to try to fight my writer’s block. Obviously, it didn’t work. There were some things, though, that it did extremely well. I’m still trying to use it to keep track of certain nonsensical (read: incoherent) things. The app for the iPhone allowed me to celebrate “snow falling on suburbs”  day after day. Now, near the end of April it’s snowing again.

The purpose behind posting short videos every day was manifold. At the time, I was going through piles of my mother’s things. One of the things I did not realize was that she had written little notes detailing the days events for the last several years of her life. Mostly she wrote down when I called, what temperature it was or if it was raining, what was blooming in the garden, etc.. Nothing of any real significance, but just little mnemonics because she was deathly afraid of Alzheimer’s disease. The cruelest thing is that she lost her mind in the last year. Her worst fears came true.

These posts are my peculiar sort of gallows humor. In a graduate class on “writing and healing” taught by my friend Dr. Charles Anderson, we viewed many films dealing with trauma. It became fatiguing after a while, but the point was to pay attention to the markers of resolved and unresolved traumas through tiny markers such a verb tense, use of metaphor and imagery, etc. Combined with books dealing with the same sorts of situations, it was striking just how consistent the features of suffering are. For my class, it reached a sort of breaking point with the film Snow Falling on Cedars. Someone made a bad joke to alleviate the constant stream of gloom we were enduring in the name of scholarship, and Chuck didn’t take it well. Class was dismissed that day.

It’s hard to see the snow in my iPhone videos, and it’s hard to stay focused on trauma. Sometimes, you just want to move on. Leaving little markers does help you stay sane, especially in the endless snowstorm that is Syracuse, NY.