They told me go find the artist poet. They told me to go find the elder woman I most admire. They whispered it into the snow dusted wind that followed me in through the door, we want to talk with her. Track her down, we think she’s at her studio.
The wind low at my feet was visible, carrying snow, following me on my path. Twice I circled the blue metal building that used to be a cassette tape factory, that now is half a pharmaceutical company, investigated for illegally selling drugs over the internet, and half storage space and artist studios. I made fresh tracks in the snow shaped like desert sand, sharply wind molded with artic curves. Every door I tried was locked and required a pass to get in, except for one at the far end of the building. The first time I looked in, the opening was so dark after being in the bright snow I turned from it and continued my way around the building. Shut out and thinking I saw her car parked outside, an old maroon Ford with books on the dash, I returned to the only open door. It led to a large storage space, and I stood just inside the door for several minutes, my eyes stinging in the fuzzy gloom and incredible warmth, seeing diamonds. Soft and moist. The space contained four motor boats all in a line, one traditional birch canoe on a pedestal, bicycles, wood piles, saws, a drafting board with a small light over it, drawings, art pieces and sculptures. Summertime jumbled and hidden. Beneath the frozen river waiting to be born. I waited for it. I listened to it. I didn’t want to disturb any of it, even the quiet. I walked slowly and light-footed around the boats, into a few other dark, vacant rooms, listening. I sensed the presence of someone fully alive, heard art being made, and froze at the thought of the unpardonable act of interrupting it. I rejoined the wind and cold as if I’d never seen the other side of the door.