The arrival of warmth and sun in Copenhagen always completely re-introduces the city. I was biking the other day around sunset (8 pm now, and only latening until July), and I realized how pretty this place is. I haven’t been struck by the loveliness of my foster-city in eons, and I think it’s simply because I haven't seen it in six months. It’s been dark, or raining, or cloudy most days, and I’ve been walking around in my Gore-Tex burrito, trying to keep the climate out. The definitive image of winter for me is always the top of my front bike tire, because it’s often too cold or too windy to look straight ahead when I’m on my way somewhere.
It turns out, though, that Copenhagen exists above the first story. And I own clothes that perform more than heat-trapping mummification. And there are colors in this city beyond the gray and sepia. These things only strike me when we finally get all full-spectrumy in the spring.
I’ve been reading ‘Gilead’ by Marilynne Robinson the last few weeks. It’s a slow, dusty kind of book, one that should be read to you by your grandpa in a rocking chair. It starts out
I told you last night that I might be gone sometime, and you said, Where, and I said, To be with the Good Lord, and you said Why, and I said, Because I’m old, and you said, I don’t think you’re old. And you put your hand in my hand and you said, You aren’t very old, as if that settled it. I told you you might have a very different life from mine, and from the life you’ve had with me, and that would be a wonderful thing, there are many ways to live a good life. And you said, Mama already told me that. And then you said, Don’t laugh! because you thought I was laughing at you. You reached up and put your fingers on my lips and gave me that look I never in my life saw on any other face besides your mother’s. It’s a kind of furious pride, very passionate and stern. I’m always a little surprised to find my eyebrows unsinged after I’ve suffered one of those looks. I will miss them.
I know, right!?
The book continues in this vein, a dying father writing to his adolescent son, through a few decades of the postwar Christian midwest. I’m not quite finished with it, but I feel a ‘Dancer in the Dark’ caliber moan-and-cry is waiting for me on the last page.
So this has been my spring so far. Long bike rides in the low-watt sun and droning geriat-lit. By the time summer rolls around, the only thing heavier than my mood will be my quadriceps.