“A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.”
I open my first digital diary with T.S. Eliot, the first stanza of one of the best poems in the universe. Next to Pound’s Portrait, the source of this blog’s title. And Auden’s Stop all the Clocks. I was on the phone this morning with a kindred spirit, talking about Stop. We talk about verse because this is a season of poetry for us, it’s kindle that keeps us warm through a wet, gray, Dutch autumn. For California girls like that friend and myself, October in the Netherlands is like February in Los Angeles. But when my tongue slips and I say “winter,” my tall, blonde, blue-eyed husband laughs. And yes, T.S., it just might be the worst Dutch time of the year. Everyone here prefers a white Christmas to a wet autumn. But it’s also a good time to get settled into a nook with books and steaming cups of tea. And it’s a good time to create. No sun to lure me outside. Instead, the rain insulates my reading, writing, and ruminating.