If winter in my neighborhood took a selfie, this is what it would look like - dark - brooding - with more than a little menace. There is not a shred of Norman Rockwell or Maxfield Parrish bucolic loveliness. No. This is the look of a season that wants you dead and will bide its time until you make a mistake.. This is winter sitting on your chest with its hands around your throat, slowly and inexorably increasing the pressure on your windpipe...
And to think - this is how it feels for me - ensconced as I am (however precariously) inside a drafty house in a rich little town.. I can’t even imagine how it is for men, women and children who are sleeping on the street or subject to the tumult of shelters or worst of all are being stored in Marty Walsh’s House of Mercy and Generosity in the South End.
The whole thing - daily shoveling - ice melting - house inspection - roof raking - the constant vigilance - the constant worry - has put me in a foul mood and has provoked a tic whereby I check the long range forecast over and over for any sign of warming temperatures.
Yesterday afternoon after purchasing another 50 lb bag of calcium chloride pellets, I was doing the daily shoveling / icicle removal tour of the estate when it hit me.
All is right with the world.
In fact - it can be no other way.
This winter is a months-long symposium on the First Noble Truth - life is dukkha.
Furthermore, this winter is a visitation from Yamantaka, the wrathful manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri. Yamantaka appears out of great compassion in order to aid those karmic voyagers too stuck in their delusions - too adhered to their notions that life ‘should’ be free of suffering. Yamantaka is here for the hard cases - like me - those beyond the help of Manjushri’s flaming blade of discernment.
Welcome Yamantaka - do your work. Free me of my silly cravings for comfort and security..