Cezanne in Snow

Cezanne in Snow December 4, 2012

Read Mark’s weekly reflections on The Huffington Post.

Sudden, deep feelings are often teachers that we resist or turn away from, because of their intensity. Instead, we are often asked to enter these deep feelings, the way we might enter a field after a long walk through the woods. This reflection speaks about such a feeling I walked into one winter morning.


I woke this morning at a loss that it had stopped snowing. I don’t know why. I thought of Cezanne in his grey apartment in Paris staring at the apples on the table, not sure where to start, trying to eat them with his eyes. The last few days I’ve been feeling that old ache that lets me know I’m alive and tethered to everything; feeling that invisible thread floss my heart like fishing line. No one’s pulling it. It just moves like ocean tides when everyone’s asleep. Like mountain trees that creak and sway without witness. The thread of everything tugs and pulls, making us ache for no reason. Though I still search for what makes me feel this way and that. Last night I dreamt I was flipping through the seven hundred channels bouncing off the satellite and one had all the people I’ve ever loved behind the screen. They were walking toward me. I could see them up close but couldn’t touch them. Then I woke at a loss that it had stopped snowing. I don’t know why. I feel like the oak today, leaning leafless in the winter air, glad to be out in the open, ready for something tired to land on me. I wish it would keep snowing. And the sadness in my heart, which is falling like snow, keeps saying, Be thankful. You’re going to wake. And the sun slipping through the trees stuns me with its assurance, You are awake.


A Question to Walk With: Describe the feeling you have that lets you know you are fully alive. Describe the last time you felt this.

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