I’ve spent two months happy and now something is wrong. Something is descending on me. It feels like icy fingers opening over my head, continuing past my face and body, closing around my feet, and entombing me in a frigid world that I don’t know how to get out of; my own private snow globe where it is always blizzarding.
Drifts amass. I create a path to get from where I am to where I need to be but then find, in a surprisingly sudden way, that there are white dunes as far as I can see. In fact, they are all I can see. There is no chance of sun here. Nothing ever melts. Depression seeps in as I realize the path I have forged behind me is gone, blown over and buried. This ensures that I’ll not only need to dig to my next destination, but that I’ll never be able to find a way back home. No map leads here. This isn’t a place anyone cares to find. Here I am in my own frozen kingdom of one.
Do you see what I see now? There is no changing of the seasons where I am standing. And the cold has no half life but the chances to change course do; unless I intervene quickly the temperature will continue to drop and the subzero takeover of my life will continue, eventually crystallizing everything and arresting any chance of future movement. I am 38 years old.
Only two possibilities come to me as I wonder how to stop an emotional ice age. I can try to shatter the walls of this icy catacomb and let the heat from the exterior world drift in, hope that the warmth from others is enough to save me from hypothermia. It’s a quixotic idea as I’ve no idea how to find the walls of this place, how thick they are or what they’re made of. But say I do make the effort. Say I spend years assiduously chipping away shards until I eventually reach the other side. How can I be guaranteed that this punishing wind will stop or that these fingers of mine will once again be able to open and close without difficulty? Will I ever be warm?
Then the other…and it’s crazy – take control of this world and facilitate an accelerated warming. Instead of escaping the cold, I effectively change the environment by focusing on the creation of the cold itself. Change the atmosphere. Scary, I think, but barely more reasonable than tunneling to the outside. Could I do it? I don’t know anything about science, about weather including how and why it happens. But forget science, what about God? Could I place myself in a position where I am at odds with God’s will? Is that a battle I want to take on? There’s no guarantee here either…
In two days, on March 8th, an arctic gale is scheduled to rip through here and chap my face, peeling away a little more of me. It’s a reminder of something important and I know the outcome before it happens: none of my considerations matter. This is my snow globe, not God’s, lest I forget. It’s the world’s disappointment and I live inside it. And it lives inside of me.