Eaton Hamilton

the problem with being trans is cis people. The problem with being queer is straight people. The problem with being disabled is abled people. The problem with being Black is white people. In other words, prejudice.

Tag: Snow

Hello, folks, from the middle of January

Eaton Hamilton 2021

We’ve had a nastiness of snow where I live and rotten temps that finally, in their last hurrah, killed all the hummingbirds. Or they went back to where they came from. Maybe the latter. I like to think the latter, since I only had 4 or 5 when the cold hit, and suddenly there were 20-30, what with my feeders. In any case, there are hummers here again, but not the juveniles. Haven’t seen them again. I am not sad that I don’t have to do the constant thaw and freeze, bring in, hair dryer, take out routine any longer.

January has been a bugger for covid. Governments are now routinely behaving badly–letting their populaces fend for themselves in a pandemic, figuring they’ll only deal with hospitalized patients when they have to (and maybe no one with pre-existing conditions? Yes, I’m outing you, hospital personnel, triaging out a constitutionally-protected group of people.) I rant about government lack on twitter, where you can follow this.

If it’s art you’re after, try @hamiltonart1000 on IG. Posting daily!

I’ve had a dear beloved down with covid the last couple weeks, and kiddos back at school without effective mitigation, and so many friends with covid I can’t count, and friends worried about their little ones. None of us will come through this psychologically unscathed, I don’t believe, even if we manage to miss getting long covid.

My writing is going okay. It’s the first time I’ve written a book without regulating my output (2000 words/day, 1000 words/day, poem a day etc). I thought it would be dangerous. I just write when I want to; what I’m finding is that if I can make myself start, and stick to it for about two hours, the rest will flow pretty easily and I can put in a good six hours or so before I conk out.

I hope you are managing out there in these tough times. I wish you the easing of your burdens.

Snow

“Kaleidoscopic with fever. How many times hospitalized? Five, seven, nine? The hospital a place when I gave up, where I could give up, where giving up was the only possibility towards recovery. Me, white. The room around me, white. The curtains, white. The bedsheets, white. The nurses, white, in white uniforms and white shoes. The silting silting air white. My skull the white bone bars of an aviary; in it, white birds whitely swung on white perches while singing the whitest of songs by Sato Chiyako, Kuro Yori No Hana. Illnesses vague as snowflakes, white as snowlashes: there, then vanishing, then there again, then vanishing, until I could go home with my reluctant mother who hated to leave. Allergies, perhaps, or asthma, or an infection lurking in the dark shadows under my icicle skin, an interior boil filled with the pus of my living.

In order to see a thing, you need its opposite.

She cared for me the entire time I was hospitalized, leaving the other youngsters with a babysitter named Mrs Sumiko. At night she slept on a cot much lower than my bed, tossing under thin white sheets and white bedcovers and moaning when nurses with blood pressure cuffs, thermometers and stethoscopes woke me to see how well I was sleeping. Sometimes she would sit bolt upright and say, in nearly flawless English, “My daughter, how she is?”

And I knew I was loved.

She smoked leaning against the windows looking down at the parking lot. She could see winter from my window through the morning haze of her smoke, the sleeting sideways snow, the window crystallizations. Once, she brought me a snowball and placed it in my feverish hand until my fingers went numb.

And I knew I was loved.

In the morning, Kaachan pulled the white curtain and while I sat up, coughing from my weakened lungs, she unbuttoned my white cotton pajamas and slipped them from my shoulders. Tenderly, she pushed me down and lifted my hips so she could slide my bottoms off. I saw myself as if I was looking down from the white ceiling, each tile with holes the size of snowflakes, a scrawny child lost in a snowfall of sheets, my nipples the centres of cracking ice, my cleft the large footprint of a goose. Shoulders round balls, hip bones snow hills, knees knobby with moguls. She bent across two metal pans, one with soap suds, one with brook-clear water, two clean sponges floating. Devotedly, she washed me. My face first, her sponge nearly hot against my already hot head, my sizzling cheeks, but soon shivery cold, and as the sponge moved downwards, I puckered into gooseflesh and only wanted it all to be over so I could crawl back into my snow cave of white sheets. Rolling to my stomach, the process repeating, neck to toes, the sponge across the thin white ice of my back, across my buttocks like icicle scratches, down my legs prickly as ice skates, across my feet like chunks broken off ice flows.

The snap of fresh sheets.

And I knew I was loved.”

–Jane Eaton Hamilton, novel excerpt, “Snow”

%d bloggers like this: